Welcome to The Week in Direct-to-Consumer, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news in the DTC space.  

Levi Strauss & Co. CFO Harmit Singh explains the company’s shift to ‘DTC-first’

In a new interview with Brad Smith, Brian Sozzi and Seana Smith on Yahoo Finance’s “Morning Brief,” Levi Strauss & Co. CFO Harmit Singh discussed the denim apparel company’s Q4 results, highlighting a shift to a “DTC-first” business model. According to Singh, DTC is currently about 43% of the business, but the company is targeting an increase to 55%. This means boosting Levi’s e-commerce website and own stores, including 105 locations opened last year. However, Singh emphasized that wholesale remains an important part of the brand’s strategy, noting that “being a hybrid player over the long term is probably the best answer for us as an omnichannel retailer.” 

The takeaway: Levi’s is among a rising list of brands taking that “hybrid player” approach to retail.  

See also: DTC brands Rhone and Wilson, among others, have been growing their retail footprints to evolve their omnichannel strategies, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.  

Boring Mattress Co. aims to ‘cut the crap’ in an increasingly crowded DTC mattress space

“Daehee Park is setting out to simplify mattress shopping after years of disruption and growing competition in the space,” Retail Dive’s Caroline Jansen writes about the co-founder of new DTC mattress brand Boring Mattress Co., which has a simple vision: “cut the crap and make buying a mattress easy and brutally honest,” per its website. Park, who co-founded DTC mattress brand Tuft & Needle in 2012, launched Boring this week with former Tuft & Needle Head of Product Tyler Marino along with “ethical hacker” Corben Leo. 

The takeaway: A couple of disruptors in the crowded DTC mattress space have decided that consumers are ready for even more disruption.  

See also: Fellow DTC mattress brand Casper recently unveiled a revamped California store with a new “Pillow Lab” and complimentary nap area, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Retail. 

Actress Millie Bobby Brown launches Florence by Mills fashion line

“Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown just announced the launch of the Florence by Mills fashion line, Fashion Network’s Benjamin Fitzgerald reports. Featuring sustainable materials and packaging, Fitzgerald notes that the line targets Gen Z, adding that the first (upcoming) product drop will consist of “loungewear- and basics-focused items.” Brown created the Florence by Mills DTC brand in 2019, initially launching beauty and skincare products. In a launch statement provided to the media, she said she hopes that adding the new fashion line will give her generation clothes that fit them “instead of us trying to fit into the clothes.” 

The takeaway: According to new research from NielsenIQ, celebrity beauty brand sales increased 57.8% year-over-year as of November 2023, so expect such brands — across beauty, fashion and beyond — to keep growing their share of market.  

See also: Singer-songwriter Halsey’s Gen Z–focused DTC beauty brand af94 recently launched a partnership with Ulta Beauty, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer. 

e.l.f. launches Apple Vision Pro app

e.l.f. Cosmetics just launched a beauty shopping app for the Apple Vision Pro virtual reality (VR) headset. The app, dubbed “your best e.l.f.,” creates three environments inspired by e.l.f. products — Camo Cove, Big Mood and Halo Glow. These spatial VR experiences utilize 3D to contextualize products and offer users activities such as “guided meditations, stretching exercises and an interactive ‘Paint by Numbers’ game,” per a company statement.  

The takeaway: With the Apple Vision Pro landing in Apple stores in the U.S. today, some brands are taking a wait-and-see approach to launching apps tailored to the headset, while others are diving right in. 

Further reading  

DTC mergers & acquisitions

DTC retail strategy/DTC partnerships:

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