Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Anything But Brandless

Ethan Chernofsky
February 18, 2020
Anything But Brandless

Offline Matters, So Does Brand

Two interesting news items about DTC related brands are important to take note of. Last week, Fourpost, a retail concept aiming to give a home to DTC brands, announced it would be closing shop. Then, less than a week later, Brandless told employees that they were shutting down as well.

Why does this matter? Because it reinforces two critical points that are defining the next wave of retail. First, DTC companies don’t need a generic offline landing spot. They are finding the ideal path on their own, often through a small number of retail partners or an owned retail presence. Second, brand matters so unbelievably much in retail. 

DTC Continues Its Offline Expansion

Everlane, Warby Parker, Casper, and many others are leading the wave of online-only brands deciding to become anything but. Why is it happening? Because it’s incredibly difficult to build a big, profitable, online-only company in retail. But also because the early returns for DTC offline success are promising.

Beyond Rent the Runway-type partnerships with Nordstrom, which are likely to give these brands a better sense of their offline potential, DTC brands with offline presences are already seeing the impact.

Looking at visits to Warby Parker locations nationwide shows a brand seeing more visits year-over-year in each month of 2019. This included an end-of-year spike in December 2019 that brought visits 27.1% above the baseline for the period from January 2018 through January 2020. While some of this is buoyed by new stores, it is an impressive trajectory that matches the success of other product-oriented companies like Lululemon and Nike.

Looking at an Everlane location in New York City shows a similar path, with traffic on an obvious upward trend for the specific location over the last two years. The site saw traffic rise 55% above the baseline for weekly traffic four times in 2019 when analyzing the period from January 2018 through January 2020. This was something it didn’t achieve once in the year prior.

Trending to Brand

This is something significant to watch because of the similarity between these brands and retail titans like Nike and Lululemon. Brand matters now, more than ever. This is why Levi’s is expanding its store presence while wholesale numbers decline, or an increasing number of brands are investing more in expanding and enhancing their owned offline presence.

Brandless, Fourpost and even one-stop-shop retailers like Kmart and Sears are all struggling from the lack of brand identity. Whether it be Target or Walmart serving as examples for how big-box retail ‘brands’ can be built or other retail players pushing to evolve their identity, the trend is clearly being seen. 

What should we expect? More DTC and product-oriented retailers are going to increase their offline presence and more big-box retailers are going to place bigger bets on moves to solidify their distinct identity in a market that is making this a more critical aspect.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023 Office Index: August 2023 Recap Mall Index: August 2023 Recap White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream
Sports Away: Lululemon & Nike’s Momentum Continues
Summer Visits Heat Up For Recreation and Outdoor Gear Chains
No CSS overwrite - July 2023 Office Index Recap
Staging - August 2023 Mall Indec
Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive
Experiential Chains Heating Up This Summer
Petco Goes Big by Going Small
Ulta Beauty: Leading the Discretionary Pack
Discount and Dollar Chains Continue to Thrive
Summer of Sports: DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports
Off-Price: Succeeding Into Summer
The Anchor Recap: July 2023
Superstores Maintaining Pandemic Gains Amidst Economic Headwinds
2023: Home Improvement at the Halfway Point
July 2023 Office Index Recap Mall Index: July 2023 Recap
widget test
The Taylor Swift Visit Lift
Southwestern Grocery Dive
July 2023 White Paper Recap: Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index
Yum! Brands: Driving Dining Visits
Slurpees and Summer Movies Stimulate Consumer Foot Traffic
Cool Beans: Summer Coffee Update
Checking In on Back to School 2023
Crocs and New Balance Tip The Scales
Burger Bliss: Shake Shack and In-N-Out Stacking Visits
Chipotle & McDonald's Continue to Reign Supreme
Vibenomics and Partner to Enhance Retail Media In-Store Measurement
California Grocers Here We Come!
Marriott’s Different Audiences
Bonchon and Kura Sushi Thrive in the Fast-Casual Scene
A Shoe In: Footwear Climbs to the Top
Cheers! Raising a Glass to Beverage Retail Office Index: June 2023 Recap Mall Index June 2023 Recap – A Turn of the Tide and a Dive into Open-Air Lifestyle Centers
Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant
Unlocking Urban Insights: The Value in Manhattan’s Employees
Ohio State Parks On The Rise
How is Inflation Impacting the High-Income Shoppers?
Five Fast-Growing Dining Chains
What To Expect From Prime Day and July Sales Events in 2023
The State Of Fashion: How Are Apparel Retailers Faring in 2023?
2023’s Latest Dining Success Story: GEN Korean BBQ House
The NBA Finals: A Location Intelligence Perspective
Moving the Market: The Impact of Domestic Migration on Housing Costs
Post-Pandemic Museum Update
The Darden-est Things
The Enduring Demand for Urban and Suburban Retail
Leveraging Data to Evaluate the Impact of Municipal Investments
Trader Joe's Success Amidst Food Inflation and Changing Consumer Behavior Office Index: May 2023 Recap
Fitness at its Fittest: Staying Strong in 2023
Movie Theaters, Off-Price, and Home Improvement: May 2023 Recap Mall Index - May 2023 Recap
What’s Working for Bath & Body Works?
Why Are Specialty Grocers Thriving in 2023?
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap