DTC Is Beginning to Lose Its Luster
Brandless and Harry’s offer cautionary tales for investors in direct-to-consumer startups. Harry’s saw its buyer bow out after a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission, and Brandless shut down very suddenly – and perhaps permanently – after losing the support of a big venture capital investor.
The reverses for these DTC brands highlight issues with the model that investors and analysts had previously been willing to overlook.
…the brands’ stumbles in recent days, which for Brandless look to be fatal, have much in common — notably, an inability to scale on their own. And they reveal limits of direct-to-consumer retail that investors and analysts may just be starting to appreciate.