• GABRIELA SELVA '24

Rise of DTC Brands in Retail


Have you ever got sucked into the endless hole of online shopping and find yourself there for hours at a time? The whole idea of being able to shop for a store’s whole inventory in one place is convenient and a lot more laid back then trying to find products in stores. While some of these online stores would be more beneficial to shop at in person, they are only considered direct-to-consumer brands.


What is a direct-to-consumer brand?

Although we may not have known the technical term for it, the brands that sell directly to customers online are known as direct-to-consumer brands. As expected, many of these brands flourished during the peak of the pandemic when people were forced to shop online from the comfort of their homes.


Why are they important?

Through this process of avoiding retailers by selling directly to the consumer, these brands are able to control the user experience, collect important data on their shoppers, and increase margins. Because of the success these businesses have had over the past few years, many have decided to start opening up their businesses to retail where consumers can now shop in their daily rotation of physical stores. Here are some of the most popular brands that decided to sell in physical locations or will in the future.

Glossier is originally a makeup brand that has now opened their products to skincare, fragrance, and even clothing. The brand launched in 2014; however, it reached a spike in popularity in 2019. Within 4 years, Glossier - once considered a $400,000 business - now has a value of 1.8 billion dollars. Due to the popularity that also grew in 2021, Glossier announced that they opened permanent stores in Seattle, Los Angeles, London, and more locations will be coming out in 2022.

Gymshark is a popular British fitness apparel and accessories brand that has appealed to men and women around the world. If you are looking to find cute and good quality athletic wear, Gymshark may be the place for you! It ranges from leggings to hoodies to sports equipment. The company became a billion dollar business all through the sales of its online market. Gymshark announced it will open its first ever physical store in London in the summer of 2022 with other locations following in the years to come.

Peloton is a gym equipment and fitness product brand that allows you to feel you are at a gym in the comfort of your own home! It ranges from bikes to treadmills with its own touchscreen connecting to live and on-demand workouts. Founded in 2012, the company originally left their consumers to shop online to find their fitness products; however, they have now opened up various stores and showrooms around the world to allow their customers to get a feel for how the products and experience may work for them in person. Peloton already has a showroom located in Cincinnati at Kenwood Towne Center and three other locations in the state of Ohio, and they announced that a Peloton factory will be built in Wood County, Ohio, in 2023; meaning more locations will probably be opening around the area!


Function of Beauty is the world’s first completely customizable hair care brand that allows you to create shampoos, conditioners, and styling products based on your individual hair type, hair goals, and aesthetic preferences. The company has produced over 1 million individual hair care formulas, and is capable of producing up to 54 trillion today. With the brand’s popular appearance in the hair product world in 2015, Function of Beauty decided to start selling their products through Target. In the Target stores you are able to create a personalized hair care product that fits your needs without the hassle of waiting for it to arrive in the mail. You will be able to find Function of Beauty in your local Target in the hair product section!


With these brands being some of the few that have opened or will open physical stores in the future, there are thousands more direct-to-consumer brands out there. Over time if these brands gain the popularity and revenue they need, the brands can flourish in the world of retail stores with the contribution of their customers’ support!