Birchbox, the company that inspired a thousand subscription boxes, seems to be hitting hard times. After opening a store in New York in 2014, it was planning to open at least three more across the country, but it has suspended these plans indefinitely. It has also retrenched its workforce, letting go of 50 of its 300 employees.
According to the Wall Street Journal, these woes are a result of cash flow problems. Birchbox has struggled to find funding for two years. As CEO Katia Beauchamp has explained to Fast Company over the years, the $10 monthly boxes of samples were always designed to lead customers to purchase full-size products online or in-store. However, there are now over 300 beauty subscription boxes on the market, some from companies like Sephora that already dominate brick-and-mortar beauty retail.