Kroger is reportedly wooing 'Costco for millennials' company Boxed -- and it could sell for $500 million

Boxed WholesaleChieh Huang, CEO of Boxed Wholesale.
  • Boxed is a members-only, bulk-selling online store.
  • Boxed is reportedly in talks to sell to Kroger for up to $US500 million.
  • It will reportedly take investment money if a deal is not reached.

Retailers seem to be circling around the e-commerce site Boxed, according to multiple reports.

Speculation has swirled in recent weeks, starting with a report by Forbes on January 12 that Kroger and rivals were looking seriously at buying or investing in the company. Forbes said a deal could be worth up to $US500 million, more than Boxed’s latest valuation of $US470 million.

No deals have been finalised yet, though the New York Post reported on January 19 that Boxed is in “advanced negotiations” with Kroger.

Boxed could raise additional capital if a deal isn’t reached for an acquisition, Forbes reported. The Post also reported that General Mills and Bed Bath & Beyond were interested in investing in Boxed.

Boxed is billed as the millennial-friendly alternative to wholesale stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. A club-based system without the membership fee, Boxed offers items in bulk, ranging from household brands and its Prince & Spring private label to services like hotel booking.

Boxed was founded in 2013 and is about to grow to five distribution centres across the country with $US100 million in yearly sales and nearly 300 employees. It has raised over $US132 million in investment, including a $US100 million round in 2016.

Both Boxed and Kroger declined to comment on this story.

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