more articles by

Anna Hensel

  • FEB 13, 2020

    As the DTC space gets more competitive, branding agencies are forced to evolve

    As more direct-to-consumer startups launch every day, agencies are finding that they constantly have to expand their wheelhouse of skills. Branding agencies are starting to take on performance marketing work, while marketing agencies are taking on more early stage design work.  In November, branding agency Red Antler, which did work for Casper and Allbirds, launched a performance marketing arm called Good Moose

  • FEB 11, 2020

    ‘We weren’t getting a full view’: A Target workers group surveyed 500 employees to ask about wages and overwork

    As big-box retailers are facing increased pressure to keep their employee headcounts stable, some store workers are frustrated as they feel like they are expected do more with less. On Monday, a workers advocacy group called Target Workers Unite released what it says are the results of an employee survey that shows the majority of them feel like their stores are understaffed, but also don't feel like they are receiving enough hours from Target to make an adequate living.

  • FEB 10, 2020

    Why strip malls are becoming more popular among retailers

    Strip malls are starting to get a second look from some retailers who have historically ignored them. Last week, both Macy's and Sephora announced that they would seek to open more stores in strip malls in the coming years. Last year, supplements brand GNC announced plans to close 700 of its mall-based stores, and instead focus on its stores in strip malls, which were reporting "relatively stable" store comps.

  • FEB 06, 2020

    Why small retailers are spending more on YouTube

    Within the past year, Google has made a significant push to turn itself into more of a shopping destination. But it's also taken steps to encourage more retailers and direct-to-consumer brands to invest in YouTube. In November, YouTube announced that it was extending shopping ads to YouTube's home feed and search results, so that when a user searches for say, Puma shoes, they see an ad with a carousel of suggested products to buy.

  • FEB 05, 2020

    As the FTC seeks to block the Edgewell-Harry’s acquisition, founders question the limits of DTC

    When CPG conglomerate Edgewell announced in May that it was acquiring razor brand Harry's for $1.37 billion, the news was viewed as a win for direct-to-consumer startups. Now, what was once viewed as a surefire deal might no longer happen. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was suing to block Edgewell's proposed acquisition of Harry's.

  • FEB 04, 2020

    Why mall owners are buying struggling retailers

    Mall owners are looking to bail out some of their tenants as more struggling brick-and-mortar retailers declare bankruptcy. On Monday fast fashion retailer Forever 21 announced that it had struck a deal to sell its retail business to a group of acquirers that included Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners, and Authentic Brands Groups, for $81 million

  • JAN 31, 2020

    With first Super Bowl ad, Walmart amps up promotion of grocery pick up

    Now that Walmart offers grocery pickup in over 60% of its U.S. stores, it has started to ramp up advertising encouraging customers to try out the service.  On Sunday, Walmart will run its first-ever Super Bowl ad promoting online grocery pickup; the company also ran a national TV campaign promoting grocery pickup that kicked off during the Golden Globes in January 2019.

  • JAN 31, 2020

    Purple CEO Joe Megibow: ‘All of these internet players are marketing companies’

    Casper isn't the first DTC mattress brand to go public -- despite the large amounts of noise around it. Purple, which launched as an online-only mattress brand via a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, sold to shell company Global Partner Acquisition Corp. in 2017 for $1.1 billion, which subsequently took Purple public.

  • JAN 30, 2020

    ‘It was only a matter of time’: Why Victoria Secret’s Pink business has struggled

    For years, Victoria's Secret's Pink business -- a line of intimates and loungewear aimed at college-age women -- was the company's shining star. Then, in 2018, Pink reported a sales decline for the first time 16 years. In the past year, L Brands hasn't broken out sales growth for Pink, only saying generally that certain units of Pink, like intimates, are seeing "strong unit growth results." At the very least, any growth at Pink isn't enough to offset sales declines at Victoria's Secret.

  • JAN 29, 2020

    How Pattern is building a portfolio of brands for burned out millennials

    Last August, creative agency Gin Lane announced it was rebranding to Pattern, a holding company for multiple brands that would sell products direct-to-consumer, with an overarching focus on helping its customers deal with burnout. With the launch of its second product line, a brand focused on home organization called Open Spaces, Pattern's strategy of how it plans to cross-promote products to different customers is coming into focus.

  • JAN 28, 2020

    As online grocery rises, independent grocery chains struggle

    Independent grocery chains face a growing list of threats. The grocery space is more crowded than ever before, as Amazon prepares to launch a new grocery chain this year, as well as the expansion of discounters Aldi and Lidl into the U.S. Not everyone can keep up, as evidenced by New York City grocer Fairway filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

  • JAN 24, 2020

    ‘It can feel pretty thirsty’: How DTC startups build an email marketing strategy around a limited product selection

    DTC startups didn't invent the practice of bombarding customers multiple times a week with emails. But DTC brands do face a unique challenge compared to other retailers: how to get customers to keep opening their emails when they only have a few products to promote.

  • JAN 22, 2020

    Despite advancements, AR struggles to take off in retail

    Augmented reality right now is big among two categories: beauty or furniture. It has yet to take off among apparel retailers, which is the next step in order for AR to become more mainstream.

  • JAN 21, 2020

    ‘They were the star’: Gap shuttered plans for an Old Navy spin off after growth stalled

    A year ago, when Gap announced plans to spin off Old Navy, the brand had reported nearly two straight years of revenue growth. Old Navy had brought in $8 billion in revenue in 2018, while the rest of Gap's portfolio -- which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Hill City and Janie and Jack -- brought in $9 billion in sales total over the same time period. The idea was the spin off would give Old Navy room to grow.

  • JAN 20, 2020

    Cookiepocalypse: What the death of the third-party cookie means for retailers

    Google is phasing out support for third-party cookies within two years, a move that has major implications for how some retailers advertise -- and may also be a boon for retail media operations at major companies like Target and Walmart. Third-party cookies are pieces of code that track what a user or their device does across different websites, and help retailers figure out when to serve an ad to various groups of users. They're most commonly used for ad retargeting and behavioral advertising. As such, as Google prepares to phase out support for third-party cookies, it could limit the number of ways retailers can target and advertise to users across the web.

Modern Retail Livestream Commerce Trends
Jul 28, 2021

At Modern Retail’s Livestream Commerce Trends, we’ll explore how the growth of livestream and video shopping trends are transforming how retailers, brands and marketing teams are engaging with consumers in-stream and live across social and owned-and-operated websites.