‘We live in a world where every day is different’: How Levi’s accelerated its DTC business and tech investments

Levi Strauss & Co has been building out its direct-to-consumer business for years, seeking to lessen its reliance on struggling wholesale partners. But that still didn't fully prepare the denim brand for the new shopping methods every retailer would have to embrace during the coronavirus. For example, Marc Rosen, who joined the company six years ago from Walmart and is now the president of Levi's America's business, told Modern Retail that Levi's had yet to roll out buy online pickup in store. But once its stores closed due to stay at home orders, it had to get the service up and running in a matter of weeks. Rosen spoke with Modern Retail about how the coronavirus has accelerated Levi's tech roadmap.

Top Stories Nov 30

Modern Retail Research: Brands are going all in on digital marketplaces for the holidays

If the last nine months did nothing else for retailers and brands, it made them realize that there are some downsides to being precious and exclusive about where to sell products. A Modern Retail and Glossy survey, in which we queried employees at brands and retailers, found that more companies this year plan to try out a variety of new digital sales channels they never did before. Here's a look at our most recent holiday related data.

'Cyber Monday has become Cyber November': How the digital shopping day's evolution is affecting marketers

This year, some retailers and major marketers are treating Cyber Monday as a Cyber Week or even as an unofficial Cyber Month, boasting sales once reserved for a single day for much of November. Lengthening Cyber Monday from one day to several days or weeks isn’t all that surprising given the rise in e-commerce due to the pandemic. With more holiday shopping happening online this year, getting shoppers’ attention with early deals is a logical move, according to industry analysts who say that worries about shipping delays has people shopping earlier for holiday deals this year. 

How Roblox paves the way for a new era of branded gaming

Roblox is still in its infancy as a marketing tool, but over the last two years, the number of brands and retailers on Roblox has grown dramatically. Compared to other gaming systems, it is incredibly easy to discover new games on Roblox, which makes the platform well suited to help even small brands build a large, passionate audience. In fact, one agency told Modern Retail that retailers -- including grocers -- are looking into building their own branded games. 

Other news to know

  • Neiman Marcus is trying to offer a luxury holiday shopping experience in 2020 through curbside Santa deliveries and offering customers the ability to connect virtually with gift advisors. CNBC has more details on the department store’s holiday plans.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods is planning to open a new banner of stores next year called Public Lands, which will largely carry gear for outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and biking.
  • Bloomberg has a feature on the customers who are increasingly using installment apps like Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm to fund their purchases in lieu of credit cards. However, some of them are flocking to these services without being aware of the late fees they may change.
11 million
Number of customers Klarna says it has in the U.S.

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For legacy brands, e-commerce platforms create new D2C opportunities

For legacy brands, e-commerce platforms create new D2C opportunities

The global pandemic has accelerated the appetite for retailers to experiment with new distribution channels, moving quickly to build their own direct-to-consumer models.

With tourist traffic dwindling, Abercrombie & Fitch is accelerating plans to close expensive flagship stores

Even before the pandemic, Abercrombie & Fitch has been on a mission for the past several years to close some of its flagship stores in expensive cities. But now, those plans have been accelerated in order to focus more on the company's growing e-commerce business. CEO Fran Horowitz announced during the teen apparel retailers' third quarter earnings that the company will be closing eight flagship stores by the end of January. Going forward, the company will focus more on serving the local customer, through services like curbside pickup.

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New research shows that retailers with advanced site search see 50 percent higher conversion rates than those with only basic search functionality.

Why Clorox's DTC brand Objective is partnering with Gravity Blankets

Why Clorox's DTC brand Objective is partnering with Gravity Blankets

One year ago, Clorox launched a direct-to-consumer supplement label called Objective Wellness. Now, Objective is taking another page out of the DTC playbook by partnering with Gravity Products, the maker of the weighted Gravity Blanket. The two are selling 'beauty sleep kits' on each of their respective websites. The move shows that even big CPGs are taking cues from the DTC playbook.

Retailers are increasingly uncomfortable with employee influencers

Sherwin-Williams recently fired an employee allegedly over his popular TikTok posts. These types of terminations highlight the awkward relationship between retailers and a rising crop of employee influencers. On one hand, some companies have started encouraging and compensating their low-level workers to post behind-the-scenes snippets to TikTok. Meanwhile, other retailers seem terrified to have employees representing them online -- and might make themselves look worse in the process.

With FreshDirect acquisition, Ahold Delhaize is doubling down on East Coast grocery delivery

With FreshDirect acquisition, Ahold Delhaize is doubling down on East Coast grocery delivery

Dutch grocery chain Ahold Delhaize has more than 1,900 stores in the U.S., under its various banners Food Lion, Stop and Shop and Giant Food. But the future of its grocery delivery business currently lies in the New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. That's evidenced by the news last week that Ahold Delhaize is acquiring a majority stake in FreshDirect, an online-only grocery delivery chain which launched in 1999. Ahold Delhaize's goal: to get as many hooks in the profitable East Coast grocery delivery market as possible.

Shipt shoppers are the latest entrants in the growing gig workers rights movement

Some Shipt workers are trying to get better worker protections, and are partnering with the nonprofit group Gig Workers Collective’. The two hope the collaboration will give the group of delivery people leverage during negotiations. Unlike other tech-based delivery services, labor organizing among Target-owned Shipt workers has its own challenges.

New report: The state of site search
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As big tech goes all in on live-stream shopping, the future may be for small brands

Based on its success overseas, experts have been predicting for years that live-stream shopping will blow up in the U.S. Until now, even though apps like NTWRK are niche successes, that hasn’t happened. But the entrance of tech giants into live-stream shopping might signal a real breakout moment -- and might prove to be a boon especially to small, niche businesses.

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