According to a recent article on Recode, Walmart is in talks to buy Birchbox, and we have a lot of mixed feelings about the prospect. Apparently, the popular beauty subscription service has been discussing a potential sale with several retailers, including Walmart. While nothing is confirmed as of yet, conversations between Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore and Birchbox co-founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp suggest the partnership is a strong possibility.
This prospect comes after Birchbox faced a tough financial year in 2016, according to Forbes, and was forced into several rounds of layoffs. However, it comes at a surprise because, as reported in the same Forbes article, the beauty brand was turning a profit.
As of now, nothing is confirmed, and it’s still possible that Birchbox will make a sale with another retailer, or raise more money from investors to remain independent. However, Walmart already grabbed up Bonobos and ModCloth so we wouldn’t be entirely shocked if it took a hold of another one of our faves.
Certainly, we want Birchbox to thrive, and sales are often a last-ditch option of indie retailers needing a boost. However, Walmart’s documented history of mistreating their employees in contrast with their large profit margin makes them a big bad wolf of companies.