Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple PodcastsStitcheriHeartRadio and Spotify​​

After years disrupting traditional retail, many startups and online pure-plays, including DTC brands, are now running into a new reality. Even usually bold venture capitalist investors have grown more discerning about where they put their money in the current inflationary climate, where money is not so cheap. As a result, several players are under pressure to pivot from a mindset of “growth at all costs,” to a focus on profitability.

The DTC space is a major beat for Retail Dive reporter Dani James, who joins The Backroom as podcast co-host. Because of the importance of and volatility in the area of direct-to-consumer sales, both at upstarts and legacy brands, Retail Dive has launched a daily newsletter roundup of such stories from her and the team — you can sign up for that here.

In this episode of The Backroom, Dani and senior reporter Daphne Howland talk about the big picture for DTC companies, the importance of brick and mortar and more as 2023 gets going.

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Editor’s note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.


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