Fashion and beauty start-up valuations appear to have stabilised after plunging last year, though it may be months or even years before many return to their old highs — if they ever do. But there are ways for emerging and established players to ride out the downturn.
As the economy weakens and funding dries up, more digital upstarts will face pressure to sell. They’ll have no trouble finding buyers – if they can prove they’re more than just another money-losing start-up.
Victoria’s Secret acquired e-commerce brand Adore Me this week, in what’s likely to be the first of many deals between strategics and fast-growing start-ups. But if history is any guide, there’s no guarantee that Adore Me will help usher Victoria’s Secret into the future.
Brands that once ruled multi-brand retailers are investing in DTC to build connections with customers and improve their margins. But like digitally native brands before them, they’re finding fatter profits remain elusive.
With the direct-to-consumer funding heyday now over, DTC brands need to turn a profit. Unlike their revenue-obsessed counterparts, DTC pioneers Marine Layer, Meundies and Trinny London offer a blueprint for achieving both top- and bottom-line growth.
Mounting digital marketing costs and e-commerce readjustments have put the viability of pure direct-to-consumer business models into question. The State of Fashion 2023 reveals that most brands will need to diversify their channel mix beyond DTC to generate growth.