President Trump appears to be taking a page from the tech startup playbook, with plans to launch his own subscription service.

On Monday, the Trump campaign sent out an email promoting the so-called "Big League Box," CNN's Betsy Klein first reported. For $69 per month, customers will receive some combination of official merchandise, such as Trump-Pence t-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and mugs. The box will also include "vintage" merchandise--which could include Trump steaks or covfefe, the Twitterverse speculates.

Many have pointed out that the service bears strong resemblance to Birchbox, the subscription makeup company launched by co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna back in 2010. "Oh my God, it's a Trump Birchbox," tweeted one observer. (Beauchamp declined to comment on the Big League Box's similarities to Birchbox, when reached by Inc.)

There are, of course, key differences. Birchbox costs $10 per month, as opposed to $69. Meanwhile, proceeds from the Big League Box are set to go towards President Trump's re-election campaign. Barna, who left Birchbox in 2015 but remains a board member, took to Twitter on Tuesday:

The subscription industry--which once attracted millions of venture capital dollars and user buzz--has seen better days. Maintaining customers over time can be both difficult and expensive, while VCs are increasingly loath to invest in unprofitable startups. Amid pressure to bring her company into the black, last year Beauchamp was forced to cut 25 percent of Birchbox staff. Given the reportedly chaotic state of the White House, Trump might want to find a more promising business model to emulate.

Published on: May 31, 2017