LI Entrepreneurs Think Inside The Subscription Box

By Daysi Calavia-Robertson
Newsday

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The subscription box business is booming! Each month, depending on your interests, you can discover carefully curated products all bundled in a gift box. From desserts to pet products to fashion, there is something for just about everyone.

New York

Long Island entrepreneurs are cashing in on a new, fast-growing e-commerce industry: subscription boxes.

Shoppers subscribe online to the boxes, which are delivered to their doorsteps every month. The entrepreneurs fill the boxes with themed products that they curate, including apparel and fashion accessories; eco-friendly items for moms; girl empowerment products; specialty items such as Amagansett sea salt; fancy handmade cookies; and bagels and bialys.

People subscribe for many reasons: the convenience of getting a supply of products they want each month, discovering items they wouldn’t otherwise find, and getting more value in the boxes than if they bought the same products separately.

“Getting these boxes has become somewhat of an obsession for some people,” said Andrew Hazen, 44, of Jericho, who launched the New York Bagel of the Month Club five years ago, which he said now has more than 800 subscribers and gross annual sales of $150,000 to $200,000.

“From an entrepreneur’s standpoint, however, recurring revenue models are extremely attractive,” said Hazen, who also founded local co-working-space company LaunchPad.

The subscription box industry was sparked in 2010 by a company called Birchbox, which delivers sample-size beauty products each month. Now about 10,000 companies across the nation, both startups and big-brand retailers, sell subscription boxes with a wide variety of products, experts said.

It’s difficult to track how many box businesses are on Long Island because geographic data aren’t available. Consumers search for boxes by content, not location.

Box entrepreneurs market by targeting online ads to people whose social media profiles and posted interests identify them as potential subscribers. They also form business relationships with bloggers; for instance, they may pay them commissions for referrals that result in new customers.

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