more articles by

Anna Hensel

  • APR 13, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Founders are rethinking their Clubhouse usage

    When Clubhouse first launched last April, founders flocked to the app as they were looking for more ways to meet fellow entrepreneurs while the world was still socially distancing. Months later, some of their initial excitement for their app has faded as they are trying to limit their usage to tuning into talks they feel like will actually, tangibly, help them in their business.

  • APR 12, 2021

    ‘Comfort will still be king’: How apparel brands are mapping out their post-pandemic strategies

    Apparel retailers are eagerly looking forward to summer, as they are some of the businesses that have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the NPD Group, total apparel sales were down 19% year-over-year in 2020. Now, as more people get vaccinated, apparel retailers are hoping that customers will want to get dressed up again heading into the summer.

  • APR 09, 2021

    Retailers are launching membership programs to compete with Amazon Prime

    On Wednesday, Best Buy announced that it was testing out a new membership program, which would cost customers $199.99 per year. In exchange, they would get free shipping, unlimited service from Geek Squad, and access to exclusive deals. That makes Best Buy the latest retailer that's trying to come up with an answer to Amazon's lucrative Prime membership, by launching a membership service of their own.

  • APR 08, 2021

    How Summersalt is expanding beyond swimwear

    Direct-to-consumer startup Summersalt got its start in swimwear, but over the past few years the brand has been transforming itself into a full-fledged apparel company. In addition to swimsuits, Summersalt now sells loungewear, sleepwear, activewear and cashmere sweaters.

  • APR 07, 2021

    Brands bet on texts to pique customers’ interest amidst digital marketing upheaval

    The messages app is starting to replace the email inbox as the most sought-after piece of digital real estate among brands and retailers. Using text messages to promote sales or new product launches are the most popular tactics, but marketers are still trying to figure out what kinds of text messages people would actually want to receive from them.

  • APR 06, 2021

    DTC Briefing: How Harry’s is building its portfolio of brands

    More than a year after the FTC quashed a proposed acquisition of Harry’s by CPG conglomerate Edgwell, Harry’s has started to chart out its new plan for building a next-generation CPG company. Now, Harry’s is looking to become more of a CPG conglomerate itself.

  • APR 05, 2021

    Forerunner Ventures’ KJ Sidberry on how the firm is rethinking the definition of consumer

    Venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures is well-known for funding the first generation of direct-to-consumer startups like Bonobos and Dollar Shave Club. But the firm has also been taking a more broader approach to consumer, with recent investments. Senior Associate KJ Sidberry spoke with Modern Retail about his investment thesis.

  • APR 01, 2021

    How Kroger is planning for its next phase of digital growth

    Last year, grocers like Kroger reported unprecedented growth in grocery delivery and pickup, driven largely by customers who were too afraid to step inside stores while the coronavirus pandemic is still raging. Now, the company is thinking about how to keep those customers using its e-commerce services, now that they have more options. At its investor day yesterday, Kroger outlined what areas it will be investing in to increase its market share in online grocery.

  • MAR 31, 2021

    Cheatsheet: How Poshmark and ThredUp are charting growth plans for 2021

    Two resale apps, Poshmark and ThredUp, have gone public within the past three months, and as a publicly-traded companies, now face more pressure to maintain revenue growth, namely expanding into new products and services. But, the biggest challenge standing in the way of these companies' expansion plans, analysts say, is in ensuring that people keep wanting to sell products through their sites.

  • MAR 30, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Software startups are glomming onto the DTC boom

    The e-commerce boom has led to an influx of startups trying to build businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars by selling software to DTC brands. And it’s a surge that shows no signs of slowing down. 

  • MAR 29, 2021

    How essential retailers are defending against a 2021 slowdown

    A year ago, essential retailers ruled the roost. Big-box retailers like Home Depot and Target, hardware stores, grocery stores and drug stores were some of the only places where people in the U.S. could still shop in-person, after the first wave of stay-at-home measures. As a result, they reported unprecedented sales growth through the spring. None of these retailers are expecting to match that same sales growth last year, but they are investing in different initiatives to avoid losing market share.

  • MAR 26, 2021

    As vaccinations ramp up, DTC brands are investing in out-of-home once again

    After a year in which many subway and airport ad placements sat idle, some startups are beginning to dust the cobwebs off of their out-of-home strategies. This week, Glossier launched an ad campaign with an out-of-home component that's betting on people returning to the movies. Other startups are waiting to see whether an uptick they say they are waiting to see a larger uptick in people taking the subway or flying on a plane before committing to any out-of-home campaigns

  • MAR 25, 2021

    Lowe’s is rethinking its annual spring sale to focus more on design inspiration

    Spring has historically been the biggest sales season for home improvement retailers like Lowe’s. This year, Lowe's is rethinking its approach to its annual spring sale, in order to market the home improvement retailer as more of a destination for home decor. Rather than just being the place that customers go to to learn how to say, sand a deck, Lowe's also wants customers to think of it as a place to look for inspiration when designing their bedroom or backyard.

  • MAR 23, 2021

    DTC Briefing: How QVC is changing the DTC marketing playbook

    Covid has led to an explosion in interest in livestreaming. There’s been an uptick in established retailers like Macy’s or Nordstrom hosting livestream shopping events this year, while livestreaming startups like NTWRK, Popshop Live and Whatnot have recently announced significant rounds of venture capital. But the go-to partner livestreaming partners for many DTC brands is still QVC.

  • MAR 18, 2021

    Nike’s sales growth slowed during the third quarter due to supply chain challenges

    Nike has managed to fend off significant sales losses during the pandemic, but that doesn't mean it was immune from any headwinds. The company reported during its fiscal third quarter earnings today hit net revenue of $10.4 billion, up 3% year-over-year, while e-commerce sales were up 59% year-over-year. However, that represents a slowdown compared to 9% revenue growth and 84% e-commerce growth during its second quarter.

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Jul 21, 2021

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