Levi Strauss & Co has been building out its direct-to-consumer business for years, seeking to lessen its reliance on struggling wholesale partners. But that still didn't fully prepare the denim brand for the new shopping methods every retailer would have to embrace during the coronavirus. For example, Marc Rosen, who joined the company six years ago from Walmart and is now the president of Levi's America's business, told Modern Retail that Levi's had yet to roll out buy online pickup in store. But once its stores closed due to stay at home orders, it had to get the service up and running in a matter of weeks. Rosen spoke with Modern Retail about how the coronavirus has accelerated Levi's tech roadmap.
The start of the holiday ads run usually takes place during the long Thanksgiving weekend. However, this year's schedule is all over the place, to say the least. Even before Halloween and Election Day have rolled around, retailers like Gap are already rolling out their national end-of-year TV and digital ads. Gap’s CMO Mary Alderete spoke about the brand is navigating this new terrain.
More than nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, people are still shopping online more than they did last year. This has created an opportunity for companies focused on creating the tools that these e-commerce providers need to run their businesses. Those are the types of businesses that Mike Duboe, general partner at venture capital firm Greylock, told Modern Retail he is most interested in investing in.
As one of the brand founders who've vowed to stay away from Amazon over the years, Camille Rose's Janell Stephens had a change of heart when the pandemic hit. In the past year, she went from attempting to stop second-hand product sales on the site to opening an official Amazon store. Speaking to Modern Retail, the haircare brand's founder and CEO discussed the divisive channel's addition to the company's retail expansion.
CUUP, which sells specialty bras in non-standard sizes, has seen huge growth over the last few months. Like many DTC brands, the company saw a surge in growth in the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic, with March and April year-over-year sales spiking by 322% and 700% respectively. The startup's co-founder and CMO Abby Morgan spoke with Modern Retail about how it tweaked its content strategy over the last few months.
No-show socks are typically a big summer seller for DTC sock company Bombas. But with this summer being different thanks to social distancing, it didn't expect a niche style within the category to come out of customer demand. Co-founder Randy Goldberg spoke to Modern Retail about the line of no-show performance socks, aimed at the growing home fitness trend, and how they're helping the company find a new seasonal revenue source.
Founded in 1910, Everlast isn't exactly a young DTC startup. The legacy brand, which has historically been known as an equipment supplier for professional boxers, has goals to expand beyond its niche market. After experiencing double-digit sales growth in the last few months, thanks the home gym phenomenon, the strategy is to continue adding new distribution channels as well as venture into athleisure.
The weighted blanket brand Bearaby is one brand that's benefitted from the collective stress and lack of sleep among consumers. It has become a bestseller in its category and recently expanded a long term partnership with West Elm. Founder Kathrin Hamm talked to Modern Retail about increasingly tweaking the supply chain and why having a beautiful Instagram feed isn't enough to sustain a company.
While parent company J.Crew streamlines operation after filing for bankruptcy protection this summer, Madewell is further building on its loyal following with a revamped rewards program. Chief marketing officer Derek Yarbrough spoke with Modern Retail about the points-based rollout, shoppers' loyalty and bridging the gap between stores and e-commerce during Covid-19.
Young, digitally-native brands are rushing to figure out what to do with their existing real estate leases. But one brand going against the grain and expanding brick and mortar is menswear brand O.N.S. Modern Retail spoke to founder Brian Chung about why he believes its strategy will help it avoid being the typical money-losing DTC store.
Despite virus exposure fears, individualized samples aren't always the answer, said Deciem co-founder and CEO Nicola Kilner. Despite launching a successful virtual try-on program, "The Abnormal Beauty Company" will continue allowing customers to test products at home for up to a year.
This weekend, beleaguered athleisure brand Outdoor Voices added a familiar face from the direct-to-consumer world to its board. Ashley Merrill, the founder of sleepwear brand Lunya, is joining Outdoor Voices as chairwoman of its board of directors, and also participated in a funding round for the company through her investment platform, NaHCO3. Merrill's addition as chairwoman comes after a few months' worth of public relations headaches for Outdoor Voices.
As one of the early DNVBs to incorporate physical retail, menswear brand Untuckit was hit hard by the pandemic. Many items saw demand slip and all of its stores had to close down. Despite the setbacks, founder Chris Riccobono told Modern Retail he doesn't have plans to permanently close any stores.
Proof underwear's April launch could have gone many ways, but it happened to coincide with low CAC and an unexpected solution for quarantined women. "When people took their foot off the gas, we put ours on," said co-founder Lori Caden. She and her sister co-founder talked about launching their latest brands -- as well their earlier company that debuted in 2008.
On Monday, PepsiCo announced the launch of two new websites through which shoppers can order products from its various portfolio of brands. The company's head of e-commerce, Gibu Thomas, spoke with ModernRetail about the company's e-commerce strategy.
With in-person sales largely out of the picture this holiday season, brands must adapt to deliver the frictionless experiences that online consumers expect and demand.
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