more articles by

Gabriela Barkho

  • MAR 12, 2020

    Explainer: What are Chinese KOLs?

    Here is how China's peer to peer KOL marketing, known as the drivers of “social commerce,” help brand achieve sales.

  • MAR 11, 2020

    How the coronavirus is affecting mall traffic

    Some malls are even experiencing a jump in visitors' as the coronavirus spreads across the country.

  • MAR 10, 2020

    ‘There’s a healthy turn towards sustainable models’: $1 billion startup brand Grove Collaborative CEO Stuart Landesberg

    In the past two years, Grove Collaborative has become one of the biggest companies in cleaning supplies, hitting a $1 billion valuation last September following a $150 million series D funding round. Like other modern brands, it comes with a do-good, purpose-based mission. Having already implemented practices like having all facilities running on renewable power, Grove Collaborative is now committing to go plastic-free by 2025. “This timeline also forces it to be done on my and my team’s watch, unlike corporations that promise change down the line through a different CEO and management,” Landesberg said. 

  • MAR 06, 2020

    Organic cleaning products are seeing a coronavirus sales boom — whether or not they’re effective

    As the coronavirus spreads, home cleaning brands like Lysol and Clorox have seen a surge in sales.  But for organic home cleaning brands, which aren't always effective against the virus, the issue is causing an interesting problem: There are lots more questions about their efficacy, leading in some cases to increased sales. But at the same time, they can't advertise false claims that they can help prevent the spread of the virus. At Blueland, the DTC cleaning supplies brand has seen a surge in sales this past week, particularly with hand soap being purchased in large bulks, said CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo. 

  • MAR 05, 2020

    Amazon’s third-party sellers are facing massive inventory shortages due to the coronavirus

    At this point, many factory and facility workers have stopped going to work, due to quarantine orders and restricted transit. And following last month’s Chinese New Year holiday, the result is a backlog of unfulfilled shipments that continues to grow. While dips in overall sales figures aren’t yet being seen by all, the fear of running out of stock going into the coming months has sellers on high alert to plan ahead.

  • MAR 03, 2020
    Q&A

    Hims CEO Andrew Dudum says the company is going to be worth $20 billion

    The health and wellness startup Hims, and its newly launched brand Hers, was one of the breakout success stories in DTC since launching in 2017 -- reaching, at one point a sky-high $1 billion valuation thanks to a $100 million additional round it raised a year ago. The company, which began with a goal to provide male customers with taboo healthcare treatments for erectile dysfunction treatment, has recently added dozens of products such as skincare, haircare and women’s birth control.

  • MAR 02, 2020

    Retailers are restricting employee travel amid coronavirus outbreak

    Safety concerns for workers and their surroundings has been top of mind for the retail industry, especially for companies that largely rely on China-based manufacturing and supply distribution. While many top brands have taken a hit to their projected bottom line due to the outbreak, preventing spread via business-related travel is the immediate priority. 

  • FEB 28, 2020

    ‘I found myself obsessing’: 6 DTC founders on the biggest mistakes they made when starting out

    With so many direct to consumer brands out there, launching one seems like something anyone can do However, founding and building a company comes with many challenges that can spur rushed, oftentimes ill-advised decisions. While in hindsight the mistakes made can seem easily avoidable, startup founders say that making them helped eventually steer them in the right direction. This can include the commonplace lapse in judgment of taking on too many roles at the company or choosing the wrong fulfillment strategy. 

  • FEB 27, 2020
    Q&A

    ‘The next few years will be a telling time for DTC’: ThirdLove’s Heidi Zak says it’s time for thoughtful investing

    With the uncertain future of the declining established names in the underwear and bra space, including Victoria’s Secret’s upcoming planned sale, the category’s fractured market is up for grabs. As one of the first bra challenger brands to launch, ThirdLove is currently focused on bringing those lost shoppers on board. This includes shifting ad spend to appeal to potential customers beyond the Instagram-scrolling, hyper DTC-aware crowd, and of course, opening stores.  With the help of a growing brick and mortar presence and tweaked e-commerce tools, among other revenue growth strategies, the company now wants to scale nationally and acquire bra-shopping customers across different markets.  Co-founder and co-CEO Heidi Zak spoke with Modern Retail about how the company is attempting to convert every type of bra shopper into a ThirdLove customer. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

  • FEB 26, 2020

    The go-to retail influencers on Tik Tok right now

    Retailers’ use of TikTok is still in its early days, but many are already testing the water by partnering with existing influencers on the popular app. While many brands aren’t necessarily building out official pages on the video sharing platform, retailers like Target, Kroger and Walmart are finding value in early investment in youth-geared social network.

  • FEB 25, 2020

    Why e-commerce platform Elliot is launching ‘DTC Live’

    The service, which will operate separately from Elliot, will allow brands to have customers shop products straight from an interactive live stream. The live shopping network is meant to give viewers to ask questions about curated items' fit and texture, among other details, before clicking checkout on products. 

  • FEB 24, 2020

    The retail brands getting political in 2020

    The 2020 election cycle is in full swing, and retailers are wasting no time getting political. This week, several retailers announced initiatives revolving around the current political discourse. From offering support female candidates to pledging to give employees time off to vote, brands are increasingly becoming more comfortable taking a public stance on issues.  Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign is a top example of this strategy, which was viewed as both polarizing and courageous by the public and the industry. Shortly after the former NFL player's first Nike ad ran in late 2018, the sneaker maker's sales spiked by 10%, bringing in revenue of $847 million.

  • FEB 24, 2020

    Why I quit: 5 people on why they left their startup jobs

    From startup burnout, to business strategy pivots, to mismanagement, here's why people choose to leave their consumer brand jobs.

  • FEB 21, 2020

    Inside Kroger’s push to sell — and regulate — CBD

    Last summer, Kroger began selling cannabidiol products at over 1,000 of its stores across the country. The country's largest national grocery chain joined the CBD boom in stocking topical CBD products like oils, balms and creams. Kroger, along with Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS, has been on a mission to introduce CBD use to mainstream shoppers since the hemp-derived compound was decriminalized in 2018. With hundreds of stores, largely located in the Midwest and the South, Kroger has quickly become one of the biggest brick and mortar CBD sellers by footprint, with plans to become the go-to hub for large CBD producers.

  • FEB 19, 2020

    Everything you need to know about the coronavirus’ impact on retail

    From luxury brands to sportswear, retailers across the industry are feeling the non-health effects of coronavirus.

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