ThredUp just announced a new partnership with Gap that would let customers consign their old clothes. It shows the secondhand clothing platform staking it claim as a helpful brand partner for traditional retailers looking for a refresh.
Blue Apron is considering either selling itself or raising more private money. It's also closing one of its facilities. Undoubtedly, the meal kit company has had a rough few years -- and this latest development may mean the beginning of the end. How did Blue Apron go from a startup darling to where it is now?
Tailored Brands, the parent company of stores including Mens Wearhouse, has had a rough few years. The company is trying to rebuild its digital credibility with its new CMO, Carolyn Pollock. Modern Retail talked to her about the men's retail landscape and how she plans to go about her plans to revamp the portfolio of menswear brands.
Walmart is shutting down Jetblack, its shopper concierge service. It's one of many small digital programs Walmart on which Walmart is scaling back. This move highlights Walmart's changing approach to its digital experiments. It no longer needs to spend a lot and think big; the retail giant has made a name for itself as an e-commerce leader and can now think more conservatively.
Peapod is shutting down its Midwest division, laying off 500 people. While it's only a small percentage of its overall business, the move highlights the headwinds grocery e-commerce businesses face. While more grocers try to offer more digital fulfillment options -- it becomes ever more clear that it remains an difficult, unprofitable program.
Many onlookers believe a DTC cooling is on the horizon. With a bunch of less-than-stellar exits from the likes of Casper, Peloton and Harry's, the VC-funding model of branding building seems to be crumbling. This leaves both investors and founders left with the question: Is it worth it to raise money from venture firms? It's becoming a more complicated topic, and one that will have a big impact on a company's choices down the line.
Birchbox is laying off a quarter of its global workforce. It's a last-ditch effort to keep the 10-years-old business afloat -- and shows just how difficult it is to be a business that relies mostly on subscription sales. Despite numerous attempts to reinvigorate the brand, things seems especially bleak for Birchbox right now.
Casper is finally a public company. The road here was bumpy. It involved the mattress brand slashing its valuation by more than half and hoping Wall Street would take the bait. Conversely, Peloton, which IPO'd earlier this year, went another route -- going all in and hoping its buzz would lead to fortune. Both are having difficulty on the public markets. And they show the evolving blueprint growing DTC brands have to make when looking for an exit.
There are a bunch of DTC brands that look very very similar. Meanwhile, there are others that solve problems way outside the scope of digital commerce. What's happening is both a mad dash to cash in on the DTC craze, as well as a realization that new brands need to find some sort of competitive advantage -- even if their products look similar to others'.
Venture capitalist and Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary recently invested in the DTC eco-friendly cleaning product brand Blueland. In his opinion, online remains the best place to grow a business. Modern Retail sat down and talked with him about the direct-to-consumer landscape, and he had a few warnings for companies that don't have their margins in check.
Reviews have been on Amazon for decades. But big and small brands alike are noticing more players gaming them. While Amazon claims that it's trying its best to fight the problem, it is only becoming a bigger headache as the e-commerce platform continues to grow.
Reviews have been on Amazon for decades, and so too have fake ones. But as Amazon has become a more dominant e-commerce force, the problem review fraud presents has become more clear. Here is a look at how Amazon has approached its review ecosystem, and how it's led to dark network of bad online actors.
This week, Digiday Media hosted its very first Amazon Strategies event. There, retailers, brands, marketers and others got into the nitty gritty details of what keeps them up at night. Competition -- both from others and Amazon itself -- was a frequent topic, as were data difficulties and problems keeping a clean brand presence. Here are some of the top observations overheard at the event.
A few years ago there were only a few DTC cookware brands. Now there are dozens, and they all are trying to tell a similar but unique story. As a result, more of these companies are honing their brand story and trying to figure out product differentiation.
For the last five years blockchain has been hyped as the next technological paradigm. Despite many believing that it could radically change retailers' supply chain, blockchain-based applications have yet to hit the mainstream. Now that the craze has settled, some use-cases may end up quietly being adopted.
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