Very few businesses can lose tons of money and still live to own a big market
In my day job as founder of PipeCandy, where we discover and track online retailers and D2C brands, I speak to founders and the support ecosystems they depend on for growth. The large fashion retailers and leading commercial retail real estate companies vying for the attention of D2C brands take our help in discovering them.
There is so much going on in the “taking D2C brands offline” space that there are companies dedicated to doing just that. But the dynamic is a bit like my kid trying to postpone preparing for exams until the moment of reckoning comes and she realizes that no amount of reading Harry Potter is going to alter reality.
The reason for the existence of Retail as a Service (RaaS) revolves around the premise that wholesale channels are not conducive for D2C brands. The reality, though, is that D2C brands will eventually embrace wholesale. I am unsure where that would leave RaaS.
We explore some inconvenient questions. Retail as a Service is great for brands to test ideas. But are they going to make venture-scale money? Most of these companies run on VC dollars.