Brandless to Return to Business

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. eradicate / ɪˈræd ɪˌkeɪt / (v) – to remove or end something completely

    The government is doing its best to eradicate poverty.

  2. ultimately / ˈʌl tə mɪt li / (adv) – at the final point

    Poor diet and hygiene can ultimately lead to illness.

  3. envision / ɛnˈvɪʒ ən / (v) – to mentally picture a future possibility

    When my father was young, he envisioned a life with a beautiful wife, three children, and a nice house.

  4. particular / pərˈtɪk yə lər / (adj) – picky about something

    My mother is very particular about the brand of cleaning products we use.

  5. signature / ˈsɪg nə tʃər / (adj) – referring to something that a place or person is known for

    The actress’s signature look consists of big sunglasses and a scarf.


Read the text below.

Brandless, a company known for selling products without a brand, will relaunch after going out of business.

The company was founded in California in 2017. It sold a variety of unbranded household, health, and beauty products with a fixed price of $3 each. Its original goal was to eradicate the idea of branding and the costs involved with it so that the company could maintain its fixed price.

In 2018, Japanese company Softbank invested in Brandless, valuing the business at a little more than $500 million. However, just one year later, Brandless began to struggle to meet some targets set by Softbank. The company ultimately shut down in February this year.

With its new management, Brandless will continue to uphold its standards on health and sustainability, such as keeping its products free from harmful ingredients like parabens and synthetic dyes. The company is planning to focus more on developing its health and beauty products while stepping away from snacks and travel essentials.

Ryan Treft, Brandless’s new CEO, envisions the company becoming popular with millennials, who tend to be particular about the products they use.

Currently, Brandless is offering a limited-time bundle promo to sell old stock. Each bundle costs $180 and includes products for cooking and cleaning. According to the company, while the old stock is being cleared, the production of new items is already ongoing.

Despite the company’s plans for its comeback, retail consultant Neil Stern said that the company must establish its value first. He advised Brandless to figure out its signature products before venturing further into the market.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Brandless will be successful in its relaunch? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, how can Brandless market its products to non-millennials? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s important for products/items to be branded? Why or why not?
• Why do you think some people buy only branded products/items? Discuss.