As cities start to re-open, some out of home advertisements are starting to come back. Subway advertisements are still out, but DTC startups are taking to take a second look at launching new out of home campaigns in cities with lots of car owners -- as people start driving to more places again -- as well as in places near where people may be spending a lot of time outside.
DTC startups have responded to events of the past week in a couple of ways. The first is by affirming their support for Black Lives Matter on social media, and pledging to fight against systemic injustice. Some brands followed that with pledges to donate to organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Movement for Black Lives Matter. Now, the focus needs to shift to building diverse companies.
Stitch Fix’s decision to lay off the majority of its California-based stylists is something that the company has been discussing for over a year, the company told impacted stylists on Monday. In a recording obtained by Modern Retail, the company explained its reasoning behind the layoffs. Stylists spoke about the ordeal and the lack of transparency.
Dick's Sporting Goods has benefitted some from its product being in high demand. But the company also benefitted from investments it has previously made in its e-commerce business. Case in point, the company said during its first quarter earnings that online sales were up 110% during the quarter, thanks in large part to the rollout of a curbside pickup service in response to store closures.
As apparel retailers are set to re-open their stores, another question they've been grappling with over the past couple of months is exactly what new product or brand launches to move forward with. The way that retailers typically draw customers into store is with new product. But many retailers are hesitant to increase their inventory levels when they have apparel that have been sitting in their stores that they need to clear.
Off-price retailers have historically ignored e-commerce, because their shoppers have proven that they still prefer visiting a store to search through piles of inventory in order to find a good deal. However, the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the shortcomings of that approach. Nordstrom's latest earnings highlights this strategic misstep.
Over the past two months, digitally native startups have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of store closures. Part of this growth was due to the fact that shoppers had fewer options. Now, shoppers have more options as stores open back up in more states. The coming months will prove just how much of the growth direct-to-consumer brands experienced was a flash in the pan.
When Nordstrom opened its New York City flagship last October, it was the epitome of experiential retail. Now, all of those experiential elements that were supposed to make the store a must-visit may deter customers. Retailers are having to rethink their experiential retail strategy, and what experiences will win over customers.
Foot Locker has long been a staple of the mall, with an estimated 80% of its stores being located in malls as of 2018. Now, the coronavirus is accelerating those plans, CEO Dick Johnson said during the company's first quarter earnings call. The sneaker retailer has had to rethink its physical retail strategy over the past couple of years, not only to lessen its reliance on malls, but also to give its customers new reasons to visit the store.
Over the past year, Facebook hasn't been shy about its e-commerce ambitions. So, it didn't come entirely as a surprise on Tuesday when Facebook announced that it would be launching customizable online storefronts called Facebook Shops, as part of its quest to get customers to think of Facebook and Instagram as their go-to places to discover new products. Shopify is largely considered to be the go-to e-commerce provider from direct-to-consumer brands, and as such, stands to benefits the most right now from Facebook's aggressive e-commerce push.
Walmart has proven to be one of the retail winners over the last couple of months, as both its stores and its website drew strong sales. During its first quarter earnings on Tuesday, Walmart reported that total revenue was $10.7 billion, up 8.6% year-over-year. The past couple of months have shown just how far Walmart has come in building an e-commerce behemoth.
CBD beverage brand Recess just launched a redesigned website, alongside some new revenue streams. The company now has subscriptions, a line of merchandise and a new ordering system for wholesale vendors. Its national expansion plans are starting to come into sharper focus.
As stores re-open, the shoppers who are coming back are more likely to be on a mission. Many of the shoppers who are venturing out to the store are ones who are going to the store because they know what products they want to buy, but can't find it online. In order to cater to these shoppers, more retailers are rolling out tools to help them get in and out as quickly as possible.
Now that companies have roughly two months of working remotely under their belts, all CEOs are grappling with if, and when, they should call employees back to the office. Many CEOs are trying to figure out exactly what that will look like. For some, it may mean getting a smaller space. For others, scrapping offices altogether.
Branch Basics normally signs up about 900 new customers a week. In March and April, that number sometimes jumped to 1,400. But Branch Basics isn't the only subscription startup that saw a bump in new subscribers over the past month or two. This uptick in new customers for subscription services correlates with stay-at-home orders being issued across the U.S.
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