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.
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.
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.
"There is always going to be room for companies that understand a customer’s needs and deliver products with value."
David Dobrik, a 23-year-old YouTuber with 15.9 million subscribers, changed the way SeatGeek works with influencers by convincing the company to be a character in his videos. Since then, Dobrik has been able to use that content to get other brands, like EA Games, to do the same thing. Dobrik explains how he’s branching out from YouTube and if he’d get married again for a prank.
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