Bow & Drape Acquired by Win Brands; Birchbox Expands Walgreens Partnership

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Bow & Drape acquired by Win Brands; Birchbox expands Walgreens partnership; and NGX funding on Crowdcube. 

Bow & Drape acquired by Win Brands

Bow & Drape, an online women’s retailer that sells customizable shirts and sweatshirts with phrases like “Goal Digger” and “You Had Me At Merlot” emblazoned on the front, has been acquired by an e-commerce holding company.

The buyer is Win Brands Group, which has begun to make an aggressive consolidation play in the exploding direct-to-consumer space. Since it was launched in 2017, it has purchased two e-commerce companies, including a candle company from Buzzfeed. It is seeking to acquire as many as 25 more brands, each with revenue between USD$5m and USD$50m, by 2025. It is betting it can help online brands compete in a crowded and competitive space by providing a suite of shared services, like finance, product development and marketing.

“I have 15 people at Win and any direct-to-consumer brand would need the same 15 people to be successful,” says Kyle Widrick, founder and CEO of Win Brands. “We’re not trying to grow these businesses to USD$1bn businesses. But we do want to take these brands that are special and unique, bring them to a certain audience and grow them to their natural size and scale.”

Birchbox expands Walgreens partnership

Birchbox will expand its brick-and-mortar partnership with Walgreens for the holiday season, from 11 permanent locations to 500 pop-ups. 

The holiday Birchbox fixtures will be positioned at the front of the store in a “grab-and-go holiday gifts” format, and will include items like Birchbox subscription gift cards, travel-size beauty essentials, limited edition travel-themed Birchbox Beauty and Birchbox Grooming boxes, and an Advent calendar collaboration between the beauty brand and Walgreens.

The expansion builds upon a partnership that began in December of 2018 and has since grown to include Birchbox grooming products as well. While these pop-ups are temporary at the moment, it would be a logical next step for Birchbox, which has continued to expand its partnership with Walgreens since it began about a year ago.

One of the benefits of offering Birchbox at Walgreens is that associates are now trained on the Birchbox value proposition and can give shoppers a more tailored experience, or answer any questions they have about the service, said Pooja Agarwal, chief operating officer, Birchbox.

NGX funding on Crowdcube

NGX, which positions itself as a genetically personalised nutrition option, is funding on Crowdcube. The company’s product, which it intends to file a patent for, is set to disrupt the health, fitness and wellness supplements market, targeting “everyday athletes”. 

The brand, which was originally looking to raise £100k, has overfunded, and currently taken on over £177k. To date, NGX has spent 18 months developing their personalised formula, creating our supplier and distribution network to scale, offline sales team through PT network, branding, building an experienced management team alongside an advisory board.

NGX is looking to take advantage of the fact they’re first mover in an exciting high growth space. It is estimated that the meal replacement market is growing at 7.1% annually, while the global dietary supplements industry is expected to be valued at USD$278bn by 2024. The global sports segment is already $50bn, rising to $80bn by 2024.

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