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Wal-Mart has acquired Michigan-based retailer Moosejaw for $51 million.

The outdoor retailer, founded in 1992 in Michigan, will "be run as a standalone and complementary brand to (Walmart's) other e-commerce sites," according to a news release.

"Moosejaw has a large assortment of specialty apparel and accessories, strong industry relationships, and rich product content," said the news release from Walmart. "Their expertise will help us further enhance our customer experience."

The cash deal was announced Wednesday. Wal-Mart says Madison Heights, Michigan-based Moosejaw, which is largely online and sells more than 400 brands, will keep operating its site and stores. Its 350-plus employees will stay based in Michigan.

The move will allow Moosejaw suppliers to expand the reach of the companies and give consumers greater access to Moosejaw products.

Wal-Mart, which is trying to better compete with online leader Amazon.com, says buying Moosejaw gives it the experience of another well-established e-commerce player with strong industry relationships.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart also purchased online marketplace Jet.com last year for $3 billion in cash plus $300 million in stock. Wal-Mart’s online sales had been slowing over the past two years but notably accelerated during last year’s third quarter. It reports its fourth-quarter results next week.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

Associated Press contributed

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