Boxed Brings Bulk Ecommerce to the Public – RetailWire

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June 16, 2021

It’s been a few years since the press has been buzzing with information about what the Boxed warehouse-style e-commerce startup could become. Now, after an unprecedented change in the e-commerce landscape due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company is going public.

Boxed merges with special purpose acquisition company called Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp. as part of an agreement that will result in a listed company, according to Supermarket news. With the capital it will generate through the deal, the e-commerce company plans to expand its B2B and third-party marketplace offerings and monetize its software-as-a-service platform, which facilitates door-to-door delivery.

From March 2020, Boxed experienced a sudden and massive demand for its services driven by the pandemic. Boxed struggled to manage orders for items prone to hoarding like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wipes, according to one CBS this morning interview with CEO Chieh Huang. In addition to increased consumer demand, municipalities near Boxed’s distribution centers also began to take advantage of the company during the height of the crisis.

Mr. Huang said CNBC Squawk Box As of November 2020, Boxed had seen changes in customer demographics and the way customers access the service. By this point in the pandemic, the user base had stretched from Millennials in coastal towns to people living in suburbs and rural areas. It also saw a 30% increase in the use of mobile applications.

Boxed was touted as an alternative to online wholesale clubs when Mr. Huang walked into his parents’ garage in 2013. The company hit $ 100 million in sales in three years, according to a study by 2017 CNBC do it article.

In 2018, at a time when major brick-and-mortar grocery retailers were taking developing their presence in e- / m-grocery seriously, a number of big names reportedly considered acquiring Boxed. Kroger was named one of the top bidders, with Aldi, Costco and Target also on the list.

Around the same time, Mr. Hsieh started talking publicly about the startup’s possibility of opening its own physical stores to complement its online presence.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a path to profitability for Boxed? Will the company’s B2B, SaaS and marketplace offerings enable the growth that investors and analysts demand of it as a publicly traded company?

Braintrust

“I personally believe that the accelerated momentum during the pandemic can support the continued growth of the business.”

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