more articles by

Cale Guthrie Weissman

  • JAN 19, 2021

    How Shopify became the new retail empire

    For a decade, Shopify has been slowly growing, describing itself as a quiet no-nonsense back-end tool to help merchants grow their businesses. And over the last year it's become an empire. Now, as Shopify has create more programs to bring in new merchants, the company has become a new e-commerce default -- and it has big plans to expand beyond mere DTC brands.

  • JAN 14, 2021

    ‘An experience that’s bad, or at least a little weird’: Alto Pharmacy’s Matt Gamache-Asselin on why he entered the space

    Healthcare and insurance aren't the sexiest areas, but they are both ripe for disruption. That's why Matt Gamache-Asselin, co-founder and CEO of Alto Pharmacy, decided to enter the space. The five-year-old company has raised over $350 million thus far and has been building digital pharmacy to compete with the likes of CVS and Walgreens. On the Modern Retail Podcast, he spoke about why he entered the space.

  • JAN 07, 2021

    Cure Hydration’s Lauren Picasso on growing a beverage brand and utilizing micro-influencers

    Lauren Picasso, founder and CEO of Cure Hydration, has learned some lessons over the last few years about how to grow a beverage business. She has a background in e-commerce, hailing from startups like, but Cure was her first foray in drinks. On the Modern Retail Podcast, Picasso described the process of launching and growing Cure -- and what she's learned along the way.

  • DEC 30, 2020

    How Authentic Brands Group has positioned itself as the 2020 repo man

    Nearly 30 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far in 2020, closing thousands of a stores. But a few of those businesses have been acquired by consortia like Authentic Brands Group. Most recently ABG has purchased Brooks Brothers, Forever 21 and Barneys -- all ailing for their own set of reasons. ABG's philosophy seems simple, and predicated on past wins: buy low and eke out profit any way you can every step of the way. The question remains: Who's next?

  • DEC 28, 2020

    The end of the Series A: While tech financing booms, DTC brands face a new reality

    Companies like Airbnb and DoorDash have recently gone public and become the darlings of Wall Street, but there are some players that are notably outside of the current inventory bubble: DTC brands. What began as a warning in 2019 has become a reality in 2020 made more acute by the coronavirus. Most consumer-facing retail startups quite simply won't reach the scale worthy of mid to late stage venture capitalist dollars. In the DTC, that means the mindset is shifting -- and alternatives are being sought out.

  • DEC 28, 2020

    The Modern Retail dictionary, 2020 edition: Retailers’ biggest buzzwords, deciphered

    The year is coming to a close -- and what a whirlwind 12 months it has been. Even amid a global pandemic and volatile industry shifts, operators and executives alike still loved to fall back on buzzwords and jargon. Marketers are still using the word "experiential," for example, even though it holds a vastly different meaning compared to one year ago. Meanwhile, executives just love to mention how we're all adjusting to "the new normal" to explain any missteps. Here's Modern Retail's non-exhaustive list of words and phrases often said -- and their actual meanings.

  • DEC 07, 2020

    Pitch deck: How Walgreens is showcasing its new ad network to brands

    In a pitch deck obtained by Modern Retail, the national pharmacy showcased it vast retail footprint and first-party data. Walgreens is the latest retailer to trying to update its digital program. Over the last few months, it has been launching new digitally-focused services, including an updated app and loyalty program. But it faces headwinds a number of headwinds. Namely, convincing large brands to invest in a niche and nascent media network that's yet to be proven out. 

  • NOV 30, 2020

    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.

  • NOV 19, 2020

    Modern Retail Research: 82% of brands are expecting higher DTC holiday sales

    This year, retailers and brands are focusing on building out their digital fulfillment programs and are expecting record e-commerce sales, according to new research from Modern Retail and Glossy. As such, they are forecasting a digital windfall. What's more, the brands surveyed said they are implementing a bevy of services and offerings to better facilitate. Here are some takeaways from our most recent November survey. 

  • NOV 16, 2020

    ‘An issue of direct replication’: As more DTCs flood the market, the line between inspiration and copycatting blurs

    In August of 2019, the Atlanta-based pet supplement company Goodboy launched with a series of products to help dog-related health problems. The site was clean, featuring green and orange colors, and asking shoppers to take a quiz to get a personalized assessment of what products they should buy. Then, the founders began noticing other sites doing similar things. "It was hard to pawn it off as just inspiration," said co-founder Kari Sapp. But this is anything but a unique problem.

  • NOV 13, 2020

    ‘Creating an Amazon flywheel’: DoorDash’s S-1 annotated

    For years, DoorDash has been duking it out with others like Grubhub and Uber Eats. Over the last year, however, its marketshare has grown significantly over the last year. The newly-released financials show the company is still losing a lot of money, and is dependent on an ever-fluctuating marketing mixed with a precarious and low-margin industry. Here's our look into the company's financial filing.

  • NOV 11, 2020

    Modern Retail Talk: How Topicals tries to tap into Gen Z’s aspirations

    Skincare startup Topicals, which launched earlier this year, has said that it wants to market itself to the idiosyncrasies of Gen Z. With that, much of its content is posted on Twitter or TikTok, rather than Instagram. And its aesthetic and voice has been much more unvarnished rather than the preened tone many people expect from certain brands. On the most recent Modern Retail Talk, Topicals co-founders Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng spoke about how the company has positioned itself and why it has attempted to rethink its overall brand messaging.

  • OCT 30, 2020

    Deep Dive: Modern Retail Summit Live October 2020

    In the volatile world of 2020, retail merchants are scrambling to adjust to consumers’ rapid changes in shopping behaviors. Today, brands are developing new strategies to grow loyal customer bases by meeting consumers where they are -- both online and offline. These strategies pivot on the evolution of everything from products down to their brand voice. Here are takeaways and videos from the Modern Retail Summit Live.

  • OCT 29, 2020

    Record growth and third-party seller sales: Amazon’s third quarter earnings annotated

    Amazon unsurprisingly posted record third quarter earnings. Sales exceeded expectations, as did profit. Still there were a few things of note. Amazon didn't highlight its third-party sellers as much as past years, for example. It did, however, nod to its growing suite of new revenue engines. Here's a look at the e-commerce giant's most recent earnings.

  • OCT 26, 2020

    Why the holidays may upend American malls

    Malls have been struggling for a while now, but this holiday season may bring about a whole new reckoning. As more people shop online, traditional mall tenants find themselves in a lurch. Sales have plummets, many have gone bankrupt. And the only time of year that usually cushions the blow may leave malls worse off than before.

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