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Jun 13, 2017

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Boxed CEO Chieh Huang offers generous employee benefits to keep talent

Boxed offers the convenience and price savings of buying everyday items in bulk from an app on your smartphone, but without an annual membership fee. The other group that's turning out to be Boxed fans are shoppers in rural areas that don't have a Costco or any other warehouse format nearby. Four fulfillment centers (Edison, Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas) handle orders from shoppers throughout the United States. Last year Boxed — backed with $132 million of venture capital from firms such as DST Global and GGV Capital — rang up sales of $100 million, double what it did in 2015. Part of its success has been in curation: Boxed offers about 1,500 items on its site, compared with around 4,000 at a typical Costco. Huang says the average order is $100 and contains about 10 items, so most qualify for the free shipping that starts with a $50 order. The idea to pay for his employees' kids to go to college came about after Huang visited the Atlanta fulfillment center in 2015. He discovered that only about two of the 20 or so workers there had their own cars. The rest had a long walk just to get to public transportation to come to work. He was determined to do something to remedy the situation , and "the most obvious answer was to get everyone a car," Huang recalls.

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