DTC brands aren’t feeling the Black Friday pressure

Digiday 20 Nov 2020 05:01
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November 20, 2020 by Anna Hensel

This is the latest installment of the DTC Briefing, a weekly Modern Retail column about the biggest challenges and trends facing the volatile direct-to-consumer startup world. Join Modern Retail+ to get access to the DTC briefing — as well as all articles, research and more.

In the five days following Thanksgiving, there’s usually a wave of retailers offering anywhere from 20% to 50% off of their products. But this year, the wave of brands offering deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday will feel more like a never-ending tsunami.

With big-box retailers from Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Home Depot pledging to run weeks’ worth of Black Friday deals, direct-to-consumer brands will face increasing pressure to offer more deals of their own. However, eight direct-to-consumer brands that Modern Retail contacted said that they aren’t offering different promotions compared to what they’ve offered in the past, with the exception of some offering a slightly different gift with Black Friday purchases this year. Because many direct-to-consumer brands have at most a handful of stores, they didn’t experience as huge of a sales drop as brick-and-mortar retailers did during the non-essential retail closures of the spring. And in fact, some of them reported that their sales have doubled or tripled this year. So, they don’t feel pressure to offer steeper discounts. Instead, Black Friday is more of a retention play.

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