Andres Marcos, senior director of operations with Billie, tells how a digitally native seller of women's shaving products is expanding its reach into retail stores — and handling the supply challenges that come with it.
Billie is a women’s body care brand that launched in 2017 as a pure e-commerce seller. It offered razors, shaving supplies and related items by subscription. More recently, the company ventured into brick-and-mortar retailing by striking a deal with Walmart. The move called for a major change in Billie’s supply chain and order-fulfillment processes.
Marcos says the company had designed its supply chain solely to fulfill the e-commerce channel. Now it had to rethink every stage of the process. And it had to launch across 4,600 Walmart stores in less than a year.
Technology was an essential part of the solution, especially when it came to order management. Billie had to find an outside provider that could help it to receive orders from Walmart and route them to the correct warehouse. In serving that mega-retailer, there was no margin of error, with penalties levied for any orders that were short or late.
Packaging, too, had to be completely redesigned. “On the retail floor, we had to build more battle-ready, customer-facing, eye-catching packaging, to differentiate ourselves from other brands,” Marcos says.
The shift to physical stores required two separate supply chains, although Billie was aided in fulfilling the brick-and-mortar side when it was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care in 2021, and subsequently able to utilize that company’s existing processes for shipping to stores. The company relies on a second outside partner for fulfilling e-commerce orders.
Billie intends to expand its presence in stores by launching in all national retailers, while maintaining the e-commerce business. The goal, says Marcos, is to make it easy for customers to buy the company’s products from any channel they desire.
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