Blue Apron IPO Loses 90%

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Why Has Blue Apron Stock Struggled?

Many commentators have taken notice of the Blue Apron Stock Price in recent days. As of 12/18/18, the Blue Apron stock price traded at less than $1 per share ($0.90 at the time of this writing) for a market cap of around $175 million.

Blue Apron, the popular meal order service, was founded in 2012 and filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2017. 

Blue Apron’s revenues were $796 million in 2016, the year before the company went public. That was a 10x increase from the prior year, and analysts rushed to take part in the share offering. Shares traded for $10 per share on the first day of trading with the company raising $300 million.

Since the IPO, expectations for revenues fell in 2017 and are once again expected to be down in 2018. At the same time, costs have remained high and the company has failed to reach positive profitability. 

In the most recent quarter, the company continued to miss analyst expectations and lose customers. Blue Apron lost 71,000 customers in the quarter to end at 646,000. This is down from a high at over 1M customers.

At the same time, competitors like Hello Fresh are growing membership and larger than Blue Apron. It will be an interesting story to watch. In an area where marketing and distribution costs are high, it is likely that everyone won’t survive.

What’s Next for Blue Apron

The company has launched a few initiatives over the last week that they hope could help improve the business outlook going forward.

First, it has been reported that Blue Apron is revamping its marketing. Back in November, the company said it was laying off 4% of its workforce to devote “marketing efforts on serving the needs of its best customers.”

Then this month, it has been reported that the company has fired its old creative agency, Droga5 and will be moving to a new campaign run by Swift late in December.

Droga5 aimed to differentiate Blue Apron from competitors. The new campaigns will now focus on how the product offerings can fit into customers lives.

As the company has been losing customers, it has become obvious that they need to do something.

A second announcement came from the company on December 20th that there will be a new partnership with Weight Watchers. The new partnership will feature a weekly rotating selection of recipes inspired by the Weight Watchers Freestyle program and available for home delivery.

It will be interesting to watch if Blue Apron can right the ship. As it loses customers, competitors have been growing customers.

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