- Carhartt appointed Chad Cornstubble as its new senior vice president of direct to consumer on May 2, according to a press release. The brand also hired a new vice president of business planning earlier this month and a new chief information officer in April.
- Cornstubble will direct and organize the DTC strategy specifically to attract new customers online and in Carhartt retail stores. He reports to Carhartt Chief Operating Officer Linda Hubbard.
- The appointment comes after Carhartt opened a new retail store in Nashville last month, making its 35th location in the U.S.
The more than 100-year-old workwear retailer joins a growing list of companies with a wholesale presence that have started to focus more on DTC efforts. Nike and L'Oreal are just two examples of legacy brands that began betting big on DTC channels over the past few years, adding to their existing wholesale businesses.
Hiring Cornstubble, who was previously the vice president of e-commerce, marketing technology and digital operations at Fossil Group, comes as several new workwear-style DTC brands have popped up, bringing fresh competition to long-standing industry leaders like Carhartt and Dickies. His role will include collaborating with the wholesale, Carhartt Company Gear and Carhartt's Europe, Middle East and Africa business units to ensure a cohesive strategy.
Brunt Workwear, Taylor Stitch and Buck Mason are all DTC workwear brands founded in the last decade that are targeting younger audiences. In February, modern workwear brand Brunt raised $20 million in Series B funding in order to accelerate growth and expand retail channels beyond its digital storefront.
However, several DTC companies are conversely looking to move into wholesale, indicating that it is still a viable growth opportunity. Allbirds, for example, recently announced its first wholesale partnerships and indicated these channels would be positive for EBITDA margins.
Carhartt, a family-owned and managed company since 1889, is sold through large retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tractor Supply and Cabela’s. However, the company also sells directly through 35 U.S. Carhartt stores and online.
The retailer also has an online shop for corporate buyers called Carhartt Company Gear and has an independent licensee streetwear brand called Carhartt Work in Progress. Although Cornstubble's role will not be supporting the licensee, the Work in Progress brand has over 70 international retail stores, including two in the U.S.