more articles by

Anna Hensel

  • NOV 16, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Startups embrace Black Friday with earlier deals

    Last year, some of the largest big-box retailers started hosting holiday sales in November and even in October in order to encourage fewer crowds in stores. But this year, it’s many of the digitally native startups that are hosting earlier and earlier deals, in order to capitalize on both the huge e-commerce growth they’ve seen over the past two years.

  • NOV 09, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Recent earnings are a bellwether for the challenges consumer startups will face in 2022

    Peloton and Wayfair’s stock price fell by about 35% and 5% respectively after reporting lower-than-expected revenue during quarterly earnings announcements on Thursday. The results were a bellwether of what’s to come for consumer startups over the course of the next year: It is getting harder for these companies to maintain revenue growth.

  • NOV 02, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Jesse Derris launches a new experiential retail agency

    Jesse Derris, founder of the eponymous Derris public relations agency, is turning his attention to helping direct-to-consumer brands launch their own stores. Derris is teaming up with restaurateur Will Guidara to launch In Person, an agency that will help startups launch permanent stores, temporary pop-ups and other retail experiences.

  • OCT 26, 2021

    DTC Briefing: With new brand Marlow, Brooklinen updates its product expansion strategy

    Direct-to-consumer home goods brand Brooklinen is launching a new line of pillows this week -- but it is taking a different approach than it has for past product launches. Brooklinen will be launching a new sub brand for the line of pillows, called Marlow. The company believes it can more efficiently acquire new customers through a new brand that's hyper-focused on one product.

  • OCT 20, 2021

    ‘Modern outdoors’: How Teva approaches product collaborations

    One-off product collaborations have now become a staple in outdoor sandals brand Teva's lineup for each season, in order to drum up excitement among existing customers and recruit new ones. Yesterday, Teva unveiled its latest collaboration, a limited-edition jacket and slip-on shoe that it designed in partnership with fellow outdoor brand Cotopaxi.

  • OCT 19, 2021

    DTC Briefing: After a year-plus of disruptions, the e-commerce startup playbook has changed

    Last week, Modern Retail hosted its first multi-day event since 2019, where executives from companies like Mars, Olipop, Made In and Exploding Kittens gathered to talk about what was top of mind for them at their respective businesses. The big takeaway from the event is that what it takes to successfully run and scale an e-commerce startup has been upended over the past 18-plus months.

  • OCT 15, 2021

    How Ember mugs struck wholesale deals with Starbucks and Apple

    When Ember launched its temperature-controlling mugs in 2015, the company thought that striking wholesale deals would be critical to building brand awareness fast, Ember svp, head of global marketing and e-commerce Jolene Abbott said at the Modern Retail Summit in Palm Springs, California this week. Six years after launching, Ember is now sold in 10,000 retail locations, including in Apple and Target stores, as well as in Starbucks coffee shops.

  • OCT 14, 2021

    ‘Was Facebook giving themselves extra credit?’ Overheard at the Modern Retail Summit

    The retail sector has been completely upended over the past year and a half and at the Modern Retail Summit in Palm Springs, brand and retail executives came together about how they are trying to shift strategies in this new world.

  • OCT 12, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Solo Stove makes an opportunistic pivot after a year of explosive growth

    Fire pit maker Solo Stove had such explosive growth in 2020, that the company's owners decided to raise capital, pivot into an e-commerce holding company and as of last week, filed to go public. The company is betting that after gaining a huge swath of new, loyal customers during the pandemic, it can parlay that into continued success.

  • OCT 05, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Startups are accelerating plans for new store openings

    Over the past year, store openings were few and far between -- with the exception of some pop-ups  -- as direct-to-consumer startups decided to direct their focus to their e-commerce channel. But within the past week, a few startups like Parade and Studs have announced significant new funding rounds, with the express purpose of opening more stores.

  • SEP 28, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Startups are rethinking their holiday marketing playbooks this year

    With Black Friday less than two months away, direct-to-consumer brands are starting to finalize their holiday marketing strategies. One big question on many founders' minds this year, is just how much they need to rethink their initial plans in a post iOS14 landscape. The answer for many brands seems to be: spend less on Facebook and Instagram than they were initially planning.

  • SEP 21, 2021

    DTC Briefing: How OpenStore aims to build a Shopify-focused holding company

    Over the past year, there's been an explosion of holding companies raising money to acquire e-commerce brands -- Pattern Brands, for example raised $60 million in debt and equity to acquire brands in the home goods space. But one of the most interesting -- and newest entrants -- in the space is OpenStore. The company's co-founder spoke about the booming industry of e-commerce holding companies.

  • SEP 16, 2021

    Inside olive oil startup Brightland’s product expansion strategy

    When CPG startup Brightland launched in 2018, it launched with just two products: two different varieties of olive oil. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include four different flavored olive oils, two different varieties of vinegar and this week, launched a line of honey. Brightland typically partners with other companies, and does limited-edition runs, in order to test out new products.

  • SEP 14, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Shopify is taking a heavier hand in startup investing

    There's a new sought-after investor for tech startups that serves a lot of direct-to-consumer brands -- and it isn't a traditional private equity or venture capital fund. It's Shopify. That was made clear last week, when Shopify announced that it invested in Yotpo.

  • SEP 10, 2021

    As retailers hope for big holiday seasons, hiring remains a challenge

    Historically, the only holiday messaging retailers have embraced before Labor Day are Christmas in July-themed sales. This year, however, retailers want job applicants to start thinking about their holiday plans before the summer is over.

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