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Bloomberg reports that Boxed, which bills itself as a purely online version of a membership warehouse store, has rejected a $400 million acquisition bid from Kroger. The decision leaves Boxed, for the time being, as an independent entity; while it had held talks with Amazon, Target and Costco, none of those companies made an offer.

According to the story, “The Kroger rejection puts Boxed back on the original path set out by Chief Executive Officer Chieh Huang, who has said he wants to remain independent and eventually go public. Boxed has differentiated itself from Amazon by offering a limited selection of household products in bulk sizes, as well as an inexpensive house brand of trash bags, paper plates and other items. The narrower scope lets the company sell more orders using fewer people and less space than a retailer with a bigger inventory.”

Boxed became a company of interest to bigger retailers last year after Amazon acquired Whole Foods, and competing companies looked for options that could help them jumpstart their online operations.
KC's View:
I continue to believe that Boxed may make more sense as a division of a bigger entity than it does as an independent company. Not sure what the owning company will be … but there will be some sort of seismic event that will make Boxed look a lot more enticing, and somebody is going to come along and make them an offer they can’t refuse.