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Welly, Method founder looks to traditional retail to boost bandage sales

For Eric Ryan, the serial entrepreneur behind household cleaning brand Method and vitamin company Olly, physical retail stores trump online clicks.

With that in mind, Ryan has now partnered with Target (TGT) to launch Welly, a new line of premium bandages that aim to disrupt the first aid sector.

“I’m still a big fan of launching in brick and mortar,” Welly co-founder Eric Ryan told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM in a recent interview.

“When you’re leveraging different package and product design, there’s no substitute for getting it in front of consumers in a way they can see, experience, touch,” he added. “That’s still hard to replicate online.”

Even though Ryan prefers releasing his products on store shelves at big box retailers over e-commerce sites like Amazon, he does admit Welly has “very Instagram-friendly packaging.”

‘Worth showing off’

Welly is revamping an everyday household item, turning it into a premium product by packaging it in a more upscale way. The bandage kits are designed to appeal to millennials on the move.

“We believe bandages should be worn like badges of honor. Cuts and bruises are trophies of a well-lived life,” said Welly co-founder & CEO Doug Stukenborg.

Indeed, in an announcement of the Welly partnership, Target called the bandages “worth showing off.”

Welly products are designed to appeal to Millennials on the move. (Courtesy: Welly)

Ryan’s model for creating new brands involves injecting fresh design concepts into everyday necessities others may consider boring.

Yet in order to gain new customers, he finds the in-store experience is better than browsing online—which is why he teamed up with Target.

“They have just tremendous scale. As an entrepreneur, when you’re putting a lot of investment into creating a different product experience, it’s super important,” said Ryan.

The retail giant “really understand[s] the in-store merchandising experience. And that is so essential when you’re trying to change consumer behavior.”