Boxed Looks For Buyers

Boxed, the U.S. online wholesale retailer sometimes called “Costco for millennials,” is seeking a buyer, Reuters reported.

The company is exploring options including a sale or going public via a merger with a blank-check acquisition company that could put its value at around $1 billion, the report stated.

Boxed, based in New York, offers sales of fresh groceries, office supplies and more.

The company is in the same boat as other eCommerce ventures, which have seen huge upticks in sales as the pandemic upended American life and forced everyone to adapt to more digital ways of living for the past several months.

According to Reuters, U.S. eCommerce sales have surged 44 percent higher in the months since the pandemic hit.

The company hired investment bank Citigroup to help it with the sale, according to sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported. The company could be seeking a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), meaning a shell company specifically set up to help another go public without going through all the hoops for that process. However, Reuters sources said nothing is set in stone and a deal might not happen.

Boxed, formed in 2013, has raised $240 million from investors, including American Express and GGV Capital. Its last valuation was $600 million in 2018, Reuters reported, citing data from PitchBook.

eCommerce growth has far surpassed other kinds buying methods, PYMNTS reported. The main impetus for consumers is convenience. People said they were willing to pay more in order to get what they need in less steps. That convenience often comes in the form of contactless shopping, on-demand fulfillment and the availability of products when needed.

Earlier in the year, the increase in convenience needs came as people had less options to shop, due to the pandemic’s shutdowns, and as they became more concerned about their health because of the virus.