This may sound counterintuitive, but the growth in retail seems to be coming from online direct-to-consumer brands. According to eMarketer principal analyst David Lipsman, “D2C brands with a demonstrated aptitude for selling online are now expanding to physical retail. Brick-and-mortar isn’t always the most hospitable environment, particularly for brands targeting the more elusive millennial shopper, but D2C brands nevertheless feel confident about their prospects."
As a result, online brands are exploring pop-ups, showrooms and full-fledged retail stores. eMarketer says it expects this trend to continue, reporting the following: "October 2018 data from Activate—the most recent research we have on the topic—found that a plurality of D2C brands, including Fabletics, Warby Parker and Glossier, opened or announced a store opening worldwide last year. That figure is significantly higher this year as other brands such as Allbirds, Casper and Burrow continue to expand their physical footprints."
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