Digital alcohol delivery surged during lockdowns, with major players like Drizly and Minibar dominating sales within past year. However, smaller, niche platforms also found success in wooing local merchants. One startup that's offering liquor stores an alternative to big marketplaces is City Hive, which allows small businesses to provide white labeled pickup and delivery fulfillment.
Last month, the CDC announced the loosening of its mask guidance, saying people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are not required to wear a mask “in any setting” unless local laws and regulations demanded it. Since then, retailers have been left to their own devices to come up with new mask guidelines for employees and customers. Modern Retail spoke to four people currently working in retail about how they feel about these new guidelines.
After taking a stab at standalone cafes and boutiques, Godiva has pivoted to growing its CPG and e-commerce businesses. In the past year, the chocolate maker has closed all its North America shops and launched new partnerships with retailers, including Target and Walgreens. In an interview with Modern Retail, Godiva’s president of the Americas, Caroline Le Roch discussed how these changes are paying off.
As DTC brands continue to look for new customer acquisition channels, Pinterest is becoming a bigger part of their shoppable content playbook. The social platform, which has been increasingly building out e-commerce capabilities, has partnered with several digitally-native brands on a shopping event featuring exclusive products.
Before the pandemic, there was an explosion in new rental services as even retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters, Inc. took up the trend. But when the pandemic hit, many of these companies took a hit as users paused their memberships and took up loungewear. Now, fashion rentals are focused on catering to users who have reactivated their accounts in time for summer gatherings.
When it launched at the end of 2019, dairy alternative brand Eclipse was focused on selling wholesale ice cream to service shops. However, when the pandemic hit a few months into its launch, the company's co-founders decided to bet on retail by packaging and shipping product to grocery stores.
Walmart continues to use celebrity influencers as anchors for its private label lines. The retailer's new collaboration, a crafting brand headed by interior designer Todd Oldham, is the latest in a series of expert influencer partnerships. In the past year, Walmart has tapped fashion designer Brandon Maxwell to oversee two fashion brands, as well as working with larger celebrities like DeGeneres, Sofia Vergara and Drew Barrymore on lifestyle lines.
Hodinkee launched in 2008 as a watch-focused blog, but has since grown into a full-fledged e-commerce site. To further its growth, the brand named a new CEO, Toby Bateman at the end of 2020. Bateman spoke with Modern Retail about the company's plans.
After a year of supply chain headaches, brands now have a new challenge to grapple with: the rising costs of commodities and raw materials. Many of the raw materials that startup food and beverage brands rely on have risen in price. As a result, brands that are experiencing a rise in costs of materials often have to cut costs elsewhere -- or, pass it on to customers as a last resort.
For the past year, the ongoing lockdowns had customers turning to at-home hair coloring and treatments, giving brands like Madison Reed an opportunity to grow sales. Now that salons are reopening and events are returning, the brand is looking to expand its physical footprint to continue its momentum.
With the wellness trend continuing to infiltrate more categories, big CPG companies -- including Nestle, Unilever and Mars Inc, among others -- are adding more health-focused brands to their portfolios. Some of these recent startup acquisitions include Nestle's purchase of Nuun and The Bountiful Company, along with Unilever's buyout of Liquid IV and Onnit.
Like other DTC brands, Warby Parker relied on its e-commerce channel while its stores were shut down during the pandemic. However, the company also found the period to be an opportunity to build out its telemedicine services, including optometrist appointments and prescription renewals. In an interview, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa spoke to Modern Retail about the brand's latest services and future role of the stores.
Coming off a strong 2020, Target’s latest earnings exceeded estimates. In its 2021 first quarter earnings report, the company recorded double digit growth and increased its market share. Target execs credited investment in store visits, pickup and delivery for the growth. But, the company said that private label lines were also a major driver of sales, reaching a record 36% in sales growth.
Following years of subscription acquisition and retail expansion, Quip is entering the crowded dental aligner space. DTC brands like SmileDirectClub and Candid Care have been offering at-home teeth-straightening for years. But Quip is betting on its existing dental care platform and customer demand to set its service apart.
As the pandemic winds down, more CPG food and beverage brands are looking to expand their customer base. One example is Bulletproof, which is trying to go beyond its niche biohacking coffee brand. According to the company, its strategy for this includes new products that bridge the gap between on-the-go and the new at-home lifestyle.
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