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.
Skechers continues to see strong DTC sales growth
Global footwear company Skechers reported a record $1.96 billion in sales for the fourth quarter, with DTC sales up $168.7 million, or 20.3%, year-over-year. For fiscal year 2023, the company reported a record $8 billion in sales and DTC sales that were up 24.3% from 2022. As part of the earnings report, Skechers CFO John Vandemore said the company is on track to meet its sales goal of $10 billion by 2026, adding that 2024 will feature further international expansion and deepening of the brand’s DTC relationships.
The takeaway: Skechers prioritized enhancing its DTC channel and expanding its product offering throughout 2023, and early results suggest the strategy is paying off. (The company also reported DTC sales growth of over 20% year-over-year in Q3 and launched several new celebrity-partnered products in 2023, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.)
See also: Levi Strauss & Co. also recently reported strong DTC results in its Q4 earnings release, announcing a strategy shift to a “DTC-first” business model, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.
Curology launches into hair care category
Known for its dermatologist-designed skincare products, DTC brand Curology just launched a prescription hair growth treatment called Hair Formula Rx. The brand says it made this foray into the hair care category after its survey research showed that 63% of males notice hair loss by age 30. To try the product, customers must first visit the brand’s DTC website and submit a questionnaire and photos, which are then reviewed by one of Curology’s in-house licensed dermatology providers. A Hair Formula Rx subscription starts at $89.90 every two months.
The takeaway: Curology has been positioning itself as equally suitable for women and men — models of both sexes are shown using its products on Curology.com — but with this launch the brand is putting fresh emphasis on unlocking the men’s market.
See also: In January, Curology launched its skincare products on Amazon, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.
Yeti acquires backpack brand Mystery Ranch
Outdoor products company Yeti announced it will acquire Montana-based outdoor backpack brand Mystery Ranch, Consumer Goods Technology’s Maia Jenkins reports. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mystery Ranch will continue to operate out of its Bozeman, Montana headquarters as the teams integrate. (Yeti is headquartered in Austin, Texas.) Yeti President & CEO Matt Reintjes called Mystery Ranch “a natural fit with Yeti.”
The takeaway: In 2023, Yeti prioritized the acceleration of its DTC channel, which grew to nearly 60% of sales in Q3. Thus far in 2024, the company has focused on strategic product expansion via acquisition. In addition to Mystery Ranch, Yeti acquired cast-iron skillet brand Butter Pat in January.
Wilson announces the release of an airless, 3D-printed basketball
Sporting goods brand Wilson just announced the release of a first-of-its-kind airless, 3D-printed basketball called the Wilson Airless Gen1. Coming a year after the prototype version debuted at the 2023 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, the limited-edition retail version drops Feb. 16 exclusively on Wilson’s DTC e-commerce site. Priced at (gasp) $2,500, the new version of the basketball features the same “see-through lattice design” as the prototype but also offers customers a customizable built-in label as well as brown and white colorways, in addition to the prototype’s original black.
The takeaway: This product is obviously intended primarily for collectors, given the hefty price tag — making this more of a marketing activation than a proper product drop. Watch for the halo effect of releasing a next-generation basketball with NBA bona fides to boost Wilson’s profile across social media.
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