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.
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.
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.
While stores remain closed, Nike's apps have been critical to making sure that the company remains top of mind for customers. Heidi O'Neill, the brand's president of consumer and marketplace, talked with Modern Retail about the company's digital strategy and how it's approaching store reopenings.
Since launching in 2013, Derris has quickly become one of the go-to public relations agency for direct-to-consumer startups. Since then, its founders Jesse Derris and Matt Higgins have also parlayed the success of Derris into an investing arm. Derris and Higgins are the founders of a fund called Amity Supply, which launched in 2017 with an initial $10 million fund and primarily invests in startups pre-launch. Its portfolio companies include telemedicine brand Hims, and acne care brand Starface.
Freshly for Business launched this week to provide employer-subsidized meal delivery for remote office workers. CEO Michael Wystrach thinks "many employees would rather get free meals instead of a desk," which can push the service to grow long past the pandemic.
Unlike most grocery retailers, the membership wall makes it harder for Thrive Market to tap into the current demand for Thrive Market. "Those coming in aren’t just looking for a short term delivery solution," said CEO Nick Green.
Former ad exec Wiener said that with many brands, it’s not so much changing what they were doing but doing it faster. "It’s not going to be an evolutionary change, but revolutionary."
Micro-fulfillment solutions company Takeoff Technologies’ has seen a surge in grocery clients' orders. Chief business officer Curt Avallone explained how the company is solving the last mile problem and why major supermarket chains are getting on board with delivery.
Many reports say VC cash is drying up due to the drastic change in the economy. But some investors are still looking for new opportunities. Modern Retail talked with Coefficient Capital, run by two VCs who navigated the 2009 financial crisis. The founder partners shared their insights into the rough terrain ahead.
Since launching last year, seed-stage VC fund Vice has invested almost exclusively in these categories, which is currently proving to be a success. Vice-backed startups include CBD seller Plant People, which saw a rough 30% increase in mid-March without the use of marketing spend. Similarly, CBD beverage Recess also doubled its e-commerce sales over the past two weeks. Meanwhile Lucy, the nicotine harm reduction platform in Vice’s portfolio, experienced a 50% increase in sales in recent weeks. Those figures are attributed to news of young smokers’ coronavirus mortality rate being higher than non-smokers, thus driving traffic to the site.
With physical fitness facilities deemed non-essential and workout equipment selling out fast, virtual fitness startups are having a moment. Strength-training system Tonal, which launched in 2018 and retails for $2,995, is seeing a surge in sales this month. The wall-mounted weight simulation product is getting a second look from customers searching for exercise activities in confined spaces.
Advertisers, from DTCs scrapping for share in a crackling at-home beauty market to seasoned retailers leaning into the quarantined consumer’s e-commerce surge, what’s changing about your campaign KPIs? How are you using data to make choices and effectively budget across channels? What’s working, what’s broken and how will you fix it? Take this survey and get the full results plus a $5 Starbucks gift card.
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