Texas-Based Aromatherapy Biz Sues Birchbox for Breach of Contract

On Wednesday, Aromatherapy Associates Inc. filed a complaint against New York City-based Birchbox Inc. and parent company Femtech Health for failure to pay for products ordered and delivered. The Texas-based manufacturer and distributor of cosmetics and skin care products seeks approximately ​​$424,000, plus attorneys’ fees, as provided by the parties’ agreement in case of breach.

The complaint explains that in January 2021, Aromatherapy signed a distribution contract with Birchbox to provide specifically-sized products for Birchbox’ subscription beauty and cosmetic boxes. Reportedly, the contract was upheld uneventfully during 2021, and as such, was renewed for 2022. The filing notes that in October 2021, Birchbox was wholly acquired by Femtech. 

The complaint explains that in January 2022, Birchbox placed an order with the plaintiff, the first of four that would become an issue in Aromatherapy’s contract dispute. In July, after Aromatherapy had requested payment from Birchbox on multiple occasions with no indication that several product shipments were incomplete or defective, except as to a “trivial quantity” of product damaged during shipment, the plaintiff wrote to the defendant asking for payment. 

In addition, and viewing Birchbox’s alleged lack of payment as repudiation of the contract, Aromatherapy withheld a shipment. The result was that the plaintiff incurred $10,000 in storage costs at the New York port and in shipment to Texas thereafter, the complaint said.

Though Birchbox claimed through pre-suit correspondence that it was working on internal approval for a payment plan, the plaintiff claims that Birchbox did not timely respond to two demand letters for payment from Aromatherapy’s counsel. 

Accordingly, the plaintiff, represented by Lyons McGovern LLP, filed suit in the Southern District of New York, where the underlying conduct took place. The company seeks compensation for all of Birchbox’s unpaid invoices, warehousing the unpaid order, and attorney’s fees.