Even before the pandemic, direct-to-consumer brands (DTC) were surging – and COVID-19 lockdowns shifted that trend into high gear. But B&M retail is also essential to DTC business models, delivering crucial visibility and distribution as insurgent brands like Allbirds, Bonobos, and Warby Parker have looked to scale up. A new GfK study sheds fresh light on the DTC phenomenon, almost two years into the COVID lifestyle. What can traditional brands and retailers learn from DTC’s success stories – and its also-rans? Where do shoppers see mainstream brands as inferior, and what do they crave about the DTC experience? Most importantly, how can traditional manufacturers and sellers adopt DTC strategies without breaking the bank or undermining their established brands?