Allison May, President and CEO
Summary: Pure-play gift company, market leader, building its own fulfillment capacity and growing sales by making gift giving easy.
(notes for this posting were taken by Mats Flatland)
Red Envelope’s mission is to shift the way people think about gift giving. The company was founded on the observation that there was a business opportunity in making the large number of gift giving opportunities through a year very easy. Red Envelope perceives itself as an intermediary between two people who cares about each other.
Allison explained Red Envelope’s approach to gift giving, where simplicity for the customer is the core idea. The online customer should be able to accomplish the shopping process in 7 minutes. The name RedEnvelope comes from an Asian tradition in which gifts are often presented in a simple red envelope.
Red Envelope is the market leader online in the $80 billion total US gift market, but is still operating in red numbers. The company has to this day spent $100 million on it’s strive to become profitable. However, the number of sales has tripled the last 3 years, to $70m in FY2003 with a gross margin of 48%.