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Direct-to-Consumer Ecommerce Company Brandless Shuts Down

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Brandless Shuts Down
DTC option Brandless touted its ability to eliminate the “brand tax” that retailers pass on to consumers.

After two short years, Brandless is calling it quits. The San Francisco-based e-commerce company, selling better-for-you products under its own Brandless label, announced on its website that it was “halting operations.” The announcement was more of a thank you to the customers that supported them during its run and to let them know orders would no longer be taken this week.

While the Brandless team set a new bar for the types of products consumers deserve and at prices they expect, the fiercely competitive direct-to-consumer market has proven unsustainable for our current business model," a statement on the site said.

Brandless was supported by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund. The company was expected to invest upwards of $240 million into the startup, per a Bloomberg report. That story also said the group has been struggling with other investments in such companies as Uber and WeWork.

Just last year, the direct-to-consumer company was exploring getting about 10,000 of its eco-friendly personal care, vitamins and health-focused foods onto brick-and-mortar shelves. The plan was to have products on shelves in 2020, as well as expand into CBD products.

Instead, Brandless is being forced to lay off its more than 70 employees and shut down. The company began selling its private label goods at a price point of $3 each, but later brought in higher-priced items and a subscription box delivery service.

The farewell announcement at did say the company’s hopeful to be back in a new version in the future.

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