Direct-to-consumer brands have been characterized as the "darlings" of the e-commerce space. They've disrupted their respective industries by cutting out the middleman, creating loyal followings and feeding consumers marketing messages they can relate to.
But more recently, cracks have begun to appear. Brand crises have surfaced for some companies as reports of internal work culture appear less sunny than the brands' external messaging. And the logistical headaches of shipping directly to the consumer — when the brands have relatively little brick-and-mortar presence to lean on — have come to the surface as they fight to reach profitability.
Below, Retail Dive looks at the challenges of operating a direct-to-consumer brand and where the space may be headed in the years to come.