A growing group of direct-to-consumer brands -- including Warby Parker, Figs and Hims -- have gone public. Their recent earnings reports present a look into previously unseen business fundamentals.
Nicole Johnson said that as a partner at venture capital firm Forerunner -- which has invested in some of the most notable consumer startups over the past decade, ranging from Away to Stadium Goods to Oura -- her focus has been on understanding the "consumer psyche -- where the consumer is heading and why.
After experiencing record e-commerce sales last year, many DTC startups generated more revenue this past week compared to Cyber Weeks of years past. We spoke with four executives at DTC startups yesterday afternoon who said that, while sales were still rolling in, they were on track to bring in record revenue on Cyber Monday.
Last year, some of the largest big-box retailers started hosting holiday sales in November and even in October in order to encourage fewer crowds in stores. But this year, it’s many of the digitally native startups that are hosting earlier and earlier deals, in order to capitalize on both the huge e-commerce growth they’ve seen over the past two years.
In recent months, businesses ranging from swimwear brand Andie to apparel companies Naadam and Buck Mason have surfaced in locations like Florida, Texas and Tennessee. Steered by e-commerce sales activity, these retailers are venturing into uncharted territory in the hopes of capitalizing on pandemic-induced foot traffic and customer movement flows.
Peloton and Wayfair’s stock price fell by about 35% and 5% respectively after reporting lower-than-expected revenue during quarterly earnings announcements on Thursday. The results were a bellwether of what’s to come for consumer startups over the course of the next year: It is getting harder for these companies to maintain revenue growth.
Jesse Derris, founder of the eponymous Derris public relations agency, is turning his attention to helping direct-to-consumer brands launch their own stores. Derris is teaming up with restaurateur Will Guidara to launch In Person, an agency that will help startups launch permanent stores, temporary pop-ups and other retail experiences.
The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit during the coronavirus lockdowns, leading many owners to either adapt or shut down. While many operators leaned on pick up and delivery to weather the storm, those with a big following are finding a ripe opportunity in entering the CPG space.
Direct-to-consumer home goods brand Brooklinen is launching a new line of pillows this week -- but it is taking a different approach than it has for past product launches. Brooklinen will be launching a new sub brand for the line of pillows, called Marlow. The company believes it can more efficiently acquire new customers through a new brand that's hyper-focused on one product.
Since its launch in 2018, pregancy and ovulation brand Stix has grown sales an average of 40% quarter-over-quarter, sextupled its user base to over 200,000 customers and expanded its products tenfold towards categories like prenatal vitamins and probiotics. In order to move from a pregnancy testing brand to a multi-product female health “community,” the brand invested heavily in educational content -- now the brand’s largest referral channel.
Amongst industry-wide supply chain issues, direct-to-consumer towel brand Weezie has invested in self-fulfillment and its own 40,000 square-foot warehouse. For personalized products -- 70% of the orders at Weezie -- self-fulfillment helps ensure quality control across the brand's thousands of product options and avoid 3PL holdups that many other startups are facing.
Last week, Modern Retail hosted its first multi-day event since 2019, where executives from companies like Mars, Olipop, Made In and Exploding Kittens gathered to talk about what was top of mind for them at their respective businesses. The big takeaway from the event is that what it takes to successfully run and scale an e-commerce startup has been upended over the past 18-plus months.
White label delivery is the next frontier for alcohol brands. While marketplaces like DoorDash and Drizly have dominated booze delivery during the recent boom, some brands are building out their own DTC channel via compliancy platform Thirstie.
Just weeks after Allbirds and Warby Parker filed to go public, online wine club Winc followed suite. The company, founded in 2011, is betting on an IPO to help it scale its DTC and wholesale operations as it attempts to gain market share.
Fire pit maker Solo Stove had such explosive growth in 2020, that the company's owners decided to raise capital, pivot into an e-commerce holding company and as of last week, filed to go public. The company is betting that after gaining a huge swath of new, loyal customers during the pandemic, it can parlay that into continued success.
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