Birchbox Wants to Sell. Will Walmart Buy?


Quite the rumor at Recode:

Birchbox has recently been discussing a potential sale with several retailers, multiple sources told Recode.

One potential acquirer who has spoken with the beauty subscription startup is Walmart, these people said, with conversations taking place between Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore and Birchbox co-founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp.

It’s not clear how far along any of the talks are or whether they will result in a deal. […]

The discussions come as Birchbox has been working to steady its business this year following a rough 2016 that included two rounds of layoffs and a mad dash to reach profitability after the company was unable to secure a large new investment. […]

several people close to the company told Recode that they believe a sale is more likely.

Birchbox makes around $200 million in annual revenues.

Birchbox fits in with Walmart’s/Marc Lore’s current modus operandi of “everything that is distinct from Amazon”. But, contrary to Bonobos et al, Brichbox doesn’t offer its own products but a unique way of selling things.

My bet would be this: Walmart has been looking at this, but ultimately they will decide against this. It does not really fit in with Walmart’s online strategy.

If, however, Walmart buys Birchbox, everything is possible / meaningless. Meaning: Walmart is just building up an online portfolio with no apparent thesis behind it.

To really make a dent in the market, Walmart should instead buy Pinterest.

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One comment

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