06 Apr 2017

Extraordinary times and thinking outside the Boxed

“These are extraordinary times when in 40 months I can go from working from my garage to rushing to get a plane to this event,” said Boxed co-founder and CEO Chieh Huang at the World Retail Congress this afternoon.

In a speech which introduced the company's policy of paying college fees for the children of full-time staff, Stanley the female company dog and why employees are taking a petition to end the tax on female personal items such as tampons, Huang outlined the company's meteoric rise.

Started from a New Jersey garage, Boxed is based on fulfilment and delivery of items purchased from operators such as Costco and Sam's Club, and was initially aimed at urban livers without a car who could not get to the wholesale stores themselves.

Huang said the company's ascent is now based on a customer base that sees value as “price, brand and convenience, although we don't know in what balance”.

Boxed offers around 1,500 products for wholesale buyers, including fulfilling US airports, and has an average basket size of USD100 for seven or eight items.

Aside from an altruistic approach to employees – based around not wanting to be “the man staff point at for struggling in life”, Huang said that such a quick rise for the company was a product of the times. “We are in a race, with retailers trying to figure technology out and technology companies trying to figure retail out.”

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