- Marking its first foray into wholesale, Princess Polly has inked a partnership with Pacsun, the brand announced Thursday.
- Princess Polly products will initially be available in 15 of Pacsun’s stores, including its SoHo flagship, an Atlanta store and a Newport Beach, California, store, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Pieces will also be available on Pacsun’s website.
- The brand’s best-selling products will be available in stores, with a wider assortment available online, the company said.
Princess Polly is following the path of many DTC brands by expanding into wholesale.
Princess Polly has an overlapping customer base with Pacsun, co-CEO Wez Bryett said, which can help drive more customers to shop with its brand and allow existing customers to see products in person before purchasing.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Pacsun on Princess Polly’s first wholesale agreement,” Bryett said in a statement. “We know that our customer frequently shops at Pacsun, and we’re excited to offer more ways for new and existing customers to shop Princess Polly in stores and online.”
Forming partnerships with traditional retailers has become key for many digitally native brands in recent years as many shift their focus to reaching profitability. The channel can provide new customers and drive brand awareness to these companies.
DTC darlings like Casper, Glossier, Harry’s and Vuori all sell through wholesale channels. And recently intimates brand Cuup formed a partnership with Bloomingdale’s and skincare brand Loops started selling in Target. Just last week, Allbirds announced it would be significantly slowing down openings of its own stores, but will continue to push forward with its wholesale expansion as it focuses on profitability.
For Princess Polly, the partnership with Pacsun comes as the brand’s parent company faces its own challenges. A.K.A. Brands — which in addition to Princess Polly also operates Culture Kings, Petal + Pup, Rebdolls and MNML — recently landed on Retail Dive’s bankruptcy watchlist as a company with a 10% to 50% chance of filing for bankruptcy in the next 12 months. In its most recent quarter, the company reported net sales fell 18.3% to $149.1 million. A.K.A Brands swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, reporting an operating loss of $175.6 million compared to a profit of $5.3 million in the year-ago period and a net loss of $173.9 million compared to an income of $23 million last year.
The company also announced on Thursday it will pilot a Princess Polly store in Southern California in the back half of the year as part of a broader company omnichannel push.
The initiatives will “set the stage for continued growth and profitability,” A.K.A. Brands Jill Ramsey said in a statement Thursday. The company also announced that Ramsey will be working through unforeseen medical issues. CFO Ciaran Long will serve as interim CEO.
Clarification: This story has been updated to provide details on Jill Ramsey's current role at the company.