As retailers struggle in a changing environment, Chieh Huang is forging his own path as the CEO of Boxed, an privately-held online bulk retailer that he says brings more to the table than its competitors.
"All these retailers these days are under pressure. Why? It's because … for the last 30 years, value equaled price. But now, value equals price, convenience, and a little bit of brand. And so that's what we bring to the equation," Huang told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Friday.
Boxed has seen its sales skyrocket in recent years, from $8 million in 2014 to $100 million in 2016. Huang attributed the jump in part to a booming number of millennials that have grown up with the e-commerce model.
"They've gotten everything delivered to them throughout their childhood, and now that they're the biggest generation in the workforce, the biggest baby-producing generation in America today, I think those habits are going to continue," the CEO said.
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Another contributing factor to the company's success is its culture and personality, which Huang said was key to building Boxed's brand.
"I personally pay, through the majority of my stock and through cash, college tuitions of our full-time employees' kids. Life-changing events are generally covered by Boxed as well," Huang said.
And while Boxed cannot feasibly cover every life-changing event, executives at the company are always eager to help, the CEO said.
"We'll at least take a look and see what we can do, because at the end of the day, I don't power shareholder value," Huang said. "It's our customers and the people that work at Boxed that really do."
The CEO said Boxed also offers stock options for every single one of its full-time employees, a Cramer-approved policy.
Aside from traditional means of spreading the word about the company like ad campaigns and TV interview, Boxed has also driven its popularity with some strategic activism.
Huang said the company has been actively fighting the "pink tax," a tax on feminine hygiene products in 34 states across the country that places items like tampons and pads in the same tax category as luxury, non-essential goods.
"They shouldn't be taxed. They're not luxury good items. So we rebate the tax back to our consumers if your state taxes you on those items," Huang said.
No wonder the company has been dubbed a "Costco for millennials."
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