Getting a kid off to college later this summer? You could schlep around to Bed Bath & Beyond and Target, or try a new startup called Dorm-In-A-Box that’s taken aim at that ad nauseam shopping for what is, let’s face it, a pretty predictable set of goods. This offshoot of a private-label product design company–that is, they’re the type of company that designs the cheap, in-house brands that you’d find at places such as Target and K-Mart–leverages its deep expertise when it comes to bringing goods to market for cheap. And proverbially passes on the savings to you.
The company’s implicit promise is that it’s figured out everything your kid needs for his or her first year of college, and it’s designed the produccts and negotiated with the suppliers, en masse. The resulting goods are bundled into three suites of goods that range in price from $69 to $199, ranging from bed sets to office supplies. All together, Dorm-In-A-Box claims that the full array of goods provides $1,200 of value for $349. And it’ll even deliver each one to your kid’s new dorm.
True to the times, the pitch from Dorm-In-A-Box has a green angle–claiming that the time savings for one university’s incoming class would amount to 22,800 hours ofshopping; 64,500 miles of driving (72,750 pounds of CO2); and 14.4 tons of packaging waste.
Of course, it’s unclear how much of the savings is really driven by a smarter supply chain–and how much just results from cheaper goods. Though to be fair, most of this stuff is fairly commoditized both in design and quality.