Brandless Forced to Call it Quits
Brandless, the DTC consumer goods company that flew its flag on generic branding and packaging, ceased operations this week.
The company posted a statement on its website that it would no longer sell its products, and Protocol reported that it’s laying off 90% of its staff, with the rest staying on to “finish the remaining customer orders and evaluate any acquisition offers.”
Brandless sold low-priced personal care, household, baby and pet products, as well as organic food, under the tag line of “Live Well. Take Care. Do Good.” Products were all initially priced $3 — although it did raise prices on some going forward —and its strategy of labeling items with literal, bare-bones descriptors altered the conversation about the way consumers view and shop for brands.
In its statement, Brandless cited the stiff DTC market as proving “unsustainable for our current business model.” It also added that it hoped a new version of the company would emerge:
“To all of our customers: thank you for trusting Brandless to bring you innovative products created with quality materials and clean ingredients that help you live well and take better care of yourself, your family and your home. We’re hopeful the future holds a new version of Brandless and that we see you again.”
After expanding its offering to over 300 products in just a year, Brandless raised $240 million in Series C funding in July 2018 that it intended to invest in data science, operations and logistics. The funding was a led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has also supported such recent high-profile struggling start-ups as WeWork.