Founded in 2013, e-commerce site Boxed has taken the best elements of the wholesale shopping experience and folded it into one innovative, cutting-edge mobile app that allows consumers direct-to-their-door access to their favorite warehouse club products, without membership fees. Boxed brings convenience and savings to on-the-go consumers who don’t have the time, means or patience to shop at a brick and mortar big box club. The brand’s innovative discovery-based design recreates the fun of the treasure hunt experience with a curated selection of everyday essentials that consumers love including household staples, health and beauty supplies, office pantry items, groceries and a wide variety of organic and green products.

Just as Boxed was created with mobile in mind, it was created with private brand in mind as well. It was understood that private brand would be integral to the success of the company and that they would have a truly unique opportunity to build something special from scratch. While it’s unusual for such a young company to have such a well-developed private brand, Boxed planned for this from the very beginning and executed quickly under the leadership of VP of Private Brands, Jeff GamseyPrivate brand was central.

Boxed, VP of Private Brands, Jeff Gamsey

Traditionally, brands and private brands battle on crowded store shelves for a shopper’s limited attention. Knowing that Boxed’s model has always featured a highly-curated assortment, the retailer knew from their inception that it would take a more nuanced, modern, minimalist approach to design. The purpose of the packaging is not to capture the sale, it’s to engage with customers in an authentic and playful way, with an occasional touch of wit and humor, and even look good when on display in a customer’s home.

Boxed launched it’s private brand Prince & Spring in June 2015 with paper towels and ultra-soft bath tissue, and have been adding products consistently ever since. The retailer now carries 47 ultra-high-quality products across a variety of categories, with dozens more set to launch in 2017. Private brand sales grew 1065% from 2015 to 2016, and are forecasting triple-digit growth in 2017.

With plans to launch products across all categories, Boxed is prioritizing a back-to-the-basics approach to food. Less is more. Clean labels with ingredients you can pronounce. The retailer will be rolling out several organic and Non-GMO Project Verified items along with a few more delicious and indulgent snacks. A premium line organic, fair trade certified coffees will be launched in early March.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.