The payments company Fast just announced that it's shutting down after raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Fast's trajectory is emblematic of the struggles that e-commerce startups may face this year trying to raise new funding rounds.
Ready-to-wear apparel brand Favorite Daughter is leading Centric Brands' push towards e-commerce. In 2020, the company launched digitally native, direct-to-consumer brand Favorite Daughter through a joint partnership with influencers Sara and Erin Foster. The brand was the company's first digital-only brand but has since ushered in a new digital focus -- including investments in buy online, ship to store, SMS marketing and cross porttfolio inventory management software -- for the portfolio as a whole.
When the pandemic first hit U.S. shores, sustainability-geared DTC cleaning brands took a backseat to disinfectants like Lysol and Clorox. However, executives at startups like Grove Collaborative, Blueland and Branch Basics said there have been long-tail gains from Americans' increased interest in home essentials. Now, these companies are planning for their next stage of growth.
Niche marketplaces that bring Asian snacks and other grocery items to consumers across the U.S. are witnessing a gold rush. Yami, a direct-to-consumer marketplace for Asian food and other products, announced last week that it raised $50 million in Series B funding. It's the latest Asian e-grocer to nab venture capital funding in recent months.
The CPG field is proving to be too difficult to disrupt. After years of growing its footprint, both online and at national retailers, sparkling water startup Ugly Drinks has quietly shut down operations.
The past two years have been a boon for e-commerce companies. But that success has brought with it a double-edged sword. In order to meet the insatiable demand for online shopping, e-commerce brands have had to buy more inventory. And that’s gotten more complicated, and more expensive over the past few years for a variety of reasons, with bootstrapped brands bearing the brunt of the costs.
This week marked the start of one of the biggest industry tradeshows: Shoptalk, where executives at direct-to-consumer startups will find no shortage of proclamations over what the future of retail looks like. At this year’s event, terms like metaverse and Web3 continue to edge their way into the mainstream, but events like Shoptalk also provide a window into how the e-commerce landscape has evolved.
More retailers and brands have been turning to experienced hires to lead their logistics operations after two years of supply chain snafus. Some brands, like Peloton, are hiring new chief supply chain officers as inventory challenges have accumulated. Meanwhile, some young startups are bringing on supply chain experts earlier than anticipated.
Harry's is releasing a new ad campaign today to re-introduce customers to the benefits of its razors. Its co-CEO Jeff Raider spoke with Modern Retail about the company's growth, as well as the razor market as a whole.
Only a few years ago, apparel startups like Modcloth were raising tens of millions of dollars. Now, things have changed. As funding for traditional apparel startups dries up, VC investors look towards more profitable niches like resale or apparel tech.
As one of the earlier examples of direct-to-consumer brands, The Sill has been growing gradually over the past decade. The company, which has wholesale partnerships and its own stores, saw exponential online sales during the pandemic. Founder Eliza Blank explained how digitized stores and customer service-focused website are helping grow the plant business sustainably.
For online retailers with thousands of SKUs, offering related product recommendations remains challenging. Some, like Revival Rugs, are turning to visual AI tools to narrow down customers' search results to relevant styles.
Cassey Ho has been posting workout videos on YouTube and creating other forms of content online since 2009. Since then, she's expanded into the retail business, inking partnerships with Target and growing Popflex into a top fitness brand.
As more venture capitalists turn their attention toward e-commerce tech startups and away from DTC brands, newer investors say they want consumer startups to rethink the valuations they raise at. Willow Growth Partners, founded by Deborah Benton and Amanda Schutzbank, is one such fund. Benton, the former COO of both Nasty Gal and ShoeDazzle, said in an interview with Modern Retail that she became disenchanted in recent years after seeing many startups that “had raised too much capital at too high valuations."
Raw materials have become the hottest commodities since the pandemic began. Some of these components include plastic, paper and glass, which have all become harder to come by for retail brands. Here, we break down what’s in and what’s out in the commodities world.
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