Pattern Brands has been snapping up brands over the past year and is using those acquisitions to help it reach its goals faster, especially when it comes to physical retail.
The company’s Poketo brand, which it acquired last summer after securing $25 million in Series B funding, opened a store in Santa Monica, California, late last year.
The acquisition of the brand “enabled us and let us accelerate our plans for introducing brick and mortar as a company quicker than we were originally anticipating,” Nick Ling, Pattern Brands co-founder and CEO, told Retail Dive. “I really think about brick and mortar as an emerging channel that we hope can be a core part of our strategy in the future.”
Pattern Brands formerly operated as branding agency Gin Lane, which helped launch to market some of the most well-known digitally native brands like Harry’s, Hims, AYR and Stadium Goods. Now, using its industry knowledge, the company is focused on building out a portfolio of home brands, primarily through acquisitions.
Like other DTC holding companies — like Very Great, which runs W&P, Wild One and Courant, and Win Brands Group, which houses Gravity, Love Your Melon, QALO and Homesick — Pattern Brands aims to offer smaller brands greater access to resources and opportunities by operating under a larger company.
“One of the things we love about the brands we buy … is from day one, they've got incredible products that consumers love,” Ling said. “What we're really trying to do is help those products meet more consumers across the U.S. For the original brand owners, getting to that next level of scale with their brands can be challenging. Getting up brick and mortar, relaunching the website, introducing them to Amazon or wholesale partners are ways we're able to do that.”
Like others operating in the DTC space, Pattern Brands has found value in taking its products offline in order to acquire more customers, regardless of the channel they’re shopping in.
The company landed on Santa Monica for its latest Poketo store because the location “fits really well with our consumer,” Ling said. “We really have a design conscious millennial consumer.”
The store itself, Ling said, is “almost like a condensed home” that features an entryway, living room and bathroom to help consumers visualize how pieces fit in different spaces within the home. To help create a welcoming environment, and continue the idea of “home” versus “store," the company strategically chose elements like warm lighting and cream tones.
“We’re trying to create a sense of hominess and community around it,” Ling said.
The flagship store not only features products from Poketo, but also items from Pattern’s other brands, which include GIR, Open Spaces, Equal Parts, Yield and Letterfolk. The store builds on Pattern Brands’ existing wholesale partnerships with retailers like Trader Joe’s, which currently sells the company’s GIR brand.
While opening the store marks a major step for Poketo and Pattern Brands, the company still sees value in the brand’s website, which offers more convenience to consumers and provides them with more product information and buying opportunities. Ling hopes the two channels can complement each other in a customer’s path to purchase.
“We see them very much playing together in one ecosystem,” Ling said.
While the company is currently focused on its Santa Monica store, Ling sees potential for additional locations in the future with areas like Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas and Austin, Texas, in mind.
“As direct-to-consumer brands, we really want to meet consumers where they are. For some people that's not on an online website or on Amazon, it's in person,” Ling said. “The great thing about brick and mortar, over say just wholesale partnerships, is we get to create a world for our consumer so they can not only understand the products but really the concepts we're looking to create across our brands.”