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.

DTC sales rise in July

Belardi Wong’s latest DTC brand survey saw DTC sales increase for July with e-commerce up 4% YoY, reports Forbes’ Walter Loeb. Apparel and footwear yielded the highest MoM percentage increases, up 10% and 8%, respectively.

With back-to-school season planning in the rearview, a year of enigmatic consumer spending makes the coming holiday season particularly crucial — and complicated — for DTC brands and retailers. Belardi Wong “observed that sales have been concentrated around promotional holidays, as even the affluent consumer is now waiting for added incentives to buy,” Loeb notes, adding that Amazon Prime Day drove July’s uptick in apparel.

Related coverage:

“Amazon raises free shipping minimum for some non-Prime members” (CNN)

Madison Reed partners with Walmart

On Monday, hair color brand Madison Reed announced its launch in select Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart.com, adding the retail giant to a list of partners that already includes Amazon, Ulta Beauty and Target. Founded in 2013, the category disruptor has been focused on growing beyond its core DTC business not only with retail partnerships but through its 87 Madison Reed Hair Color Bars across the U.S.

“Madison Reed is deeply rooted in the belief that prestige, salon-quality hair color made without harsh ingredients should be accessible… Walmart is a key partner in accomplishing that goal,” said Founder and CEO Amy Errett in a statement. The Walmart deal will dramatically increase Madison Reed’s footprint within a U.S. prestige beauty sector that saw YoY sales increase 15% in the first half of 2023.

Caraway launches new prep set, cutting boards and more

DTC kitchenware brand Caraway continued its ongoing product line expansion on Tuesday with the launch of non-toxic, environmentally conscious kitchen essentials. “Originally known for its line of pots and pans, Caraway’s new products include 10 knives, shears, utensils and a four-piece board set made of Eastern European Forest Stewardship Council-certified birch,” Retail Dive’s Howard Ruben reports. Since securing $35 million in a McCarthy Capital–led funding round last year, Ruben adds, the brand has committed to creating and marketing new products and has branched out from its DTC roots, growing partnerships with Target, The Container Store and other retailers.

Related coverage:

“Caraway’s Sleek New Kitchen Sets Have All The Tools A Home Cook Could Need” (Forbes)

Further Reading

“Brilliant Earth opens another 3 stores, this time in shopping malls” (Glossy)

“Glossier Plans U.K. Sephora Launch With Big Hopes and Ambitions” (Women’s Wear Daily)

“Adore Me and Ever Dye inclined to set new industry standards” (Apparel Resources)

“Chewy: Fiscal Q2 Earnings Snapshot” (AP via Quartz)

“Stitch Fix confirms departure from UK Market” (Fashion Network)