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11/23/2022
RL Pro Exclusive

RL Pro Exclusive Q&A: Another DTC Brand Dives into Physical Retail

Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader Pro
Elizabeth Christenson profile picture

RL PRO BIG PICTURE TAKEAWAYS:

  • More and more DTC brands are re-aligning their customer acquisition strategies to include brick-and-mortar and wholesale partnerships.
  • Purpose-driven brands that give back to communities and the environment are gaining momentum as sustainability and climate change remain top of mind for more consumers.

In the past year, digitally native brand UpWest has been busy opening two physical locations in New York with a third to follow before year's end. Founded in 2019, UpWest is a purpose-driven lifestyle brand offering apparel, sleep, wellness and home goods for men and women. Retail Leader Pro talked with UpWest Chief Comfort Officer Jamie Schisler about positively impacting consumers and the planet while providing comfort.

Retail Leader Pro (RL Pro):  UpWest, as a brand, is about bringing comfort to customers' daily lives through content, commerce and community. How do you go about achieving this?

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Jamie Schisler
UpWest Chief Comfort Officer Jamie Schisler

Schisler: It starts with our product and sourcing the most comfortable fabrics possible, made in the most mindful ways. From a community perspective, we established the UpWest Foundation upon launching the brand. We commit 1% of all sales to go to charities whose mission aligns with the UpWest brand purpose, which is to provide comfort for people and planet. Content-wise, we work with partners like the Aura app to help our community manage the stresses of daily life.

RL Pro:  With shopper behavior continuing to shift rapidly, how is UpWest changing to meet consumers on their omnichannel shopper journey?

Schisler: The DTC market has evolved over the past 24 months for a variety of reasons. As a result, digitally native brands like ours have needed to adjust our strategies and approach. What that means for us is broadening our reach through the opening of stores and expansion into wholesale. 

RL ProWith UpWest’s first few brick-and-mortar locations opening this year, how would you describe your in-store experience?

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