5 DTCs and Consumer Goods Brands to Open Up Shop

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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5 brands

Every year, some direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailers and consumer goods (CG) companies bring their brands offline and out of other retailers’ stores to embark on an own-brand store.

While the reason for this move is personal to every company, there are several benefits to having a physical retail store or flagship. Giving a space to the name can strengthen customer loyalty and trust, as well as provide a place for online pickup, returns, and local distribution. 

According to NRF, nine of the top 10 e-commerce websites are run by retailers that also operate brick-and-mortar stores. And Morning Consult finds just 77% of U.S. adults (and 68% of Gen Zers) trust online-only brands. 

So far this year, several DTC retailers and CGs made, or will make, the switch from online-only to a physical presence. In RIS’ second annual look at the brands that have opened up brick-and-mortar shops, we give you companies to a keep an eye on, as they provide new consumer experiences that stand out from the digital realm.

1. Melissa & Doug

Melissa and Doug retail store

Toy brand Melissa & Doug made a new mark on its 35-year history this fall with its first-ever retail store. 

The 1,600-square-foot store features a wide selection of the brand's top-selling toys across categories. The brick-and-mortar location opens October 6, 2023, and is located on Level 3 of The Westchester, a shopping mall in White Plains, NY, just outside New York City and near Melissa & Doug’s headquarters in Wilton, CT. 

The “designed-to-inspire” brick-and-mortar will bring the brand to life in innovative ways consumers have not seen before, the company said. Inside, consumers will find top sellers and new products throughout the store, with trained brand ambassadors at the ready to assist them with their shopping experience. 

Families can also expect small engaging moments throughout, including a spot where kids can measure how many "scoops of ice cream" tall they are, as well as exclusive take-home activities.

"When designing a shopping experience for parents and caregivers, it was important for us to create an environment that really represented this,” said Bridgette Miller, chief marketing and sustainability officer. “Adults and children alike will love walking into our store and seeing the brand come to life!"

2. Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer store

Building on an even longer history, Radio Flyer, the 106-year-old maker of the iconic Original Little Red Wagon, announced its first-ever retail store. It is scheduled to open in November.

The store will be in the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL, in the Chicago area, and customers can expect the ultimate Radio Flyer experience when they visit, including a Test Track where kids can get in the driver’s seat for a hands-on experience in popular Radio Flyer go-karts, scooters, and more.

“We are excited to bring our FUNomenal customer service experience to life through our new retail store, delighting fans with our award-winning products,” said Robert Pasin, chief wagon officer at Radio Flyer. “When my grandpa built the first Radio Flyer wagon 106 years ago in his Chicago garage, he always dreamed of creating a space for families to experience the joy of the Radio Flyer brand. I am overjoyed to open our first store and let our customers experience all that we have to offer, whether it’s a kid looking for their first tricycle or a kid at heart looking for their first electric bike.”

Other store features include products from the complete Radio Flyer line, as well as 60-plus new products and gift items only available in the store. Shoppers can also customize a wagon, along with other personalized items, available only in-store, and enjoy free test rides for kids’ bikes and adult electric bikes, professional assembly, custom bike and accessory fittings, and more. A service center is equipped to service bikes and other products, aiming to make the store a one-stop shop.

3. Princess Polly

Princess Polly Store

Princess Polly’s first retail store opened in September, but it wasn’t the fashion brand’s first foray into the physical. In March, the previously online-only trendsetter owned by a.k.a. Brands Holding Corp. and founded in 2010 in Gold Coast, Australia. partnered with Pacsun to roll out to 15 stores, including Pacsun’s Soho, NY, flagship store.

The first U.S. Princess Polly store opened at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, CA, taking over 3,370 square feet of retail space. The store offers digital displays, a media wall, and personalized product recommendations strategically designed to both engage and serve as a marketing and content engine. 

The store aims to bring to life the sense of community that Princess Polly has grown through social media, a press release noted, which is a big community. At press time, the brand had 731,600 TikTok followers. To foster this sense of community, the store will host special events such as product launches, meet-and-greets with influencers, and styling workshops.

"We’re confident the brand will thrive as a physical retailer, and we look forward to seeing its growth potential come to fruition,” said Wez Bryett, co-CEO of Princess Polly, in a statement. “Based on feedback from our loyal customers, Los Angeles is the ideal first location to establish our retail footprint in the U.S., and we’re excited to pair the seamless online Princess Polly experience that American shoppers have grown to love with the convenience of a brick-and-mortar store at Westfield Century City.”

4. thirteen lune 

thirteen lune

On May 5, thirteen lune opened its first standalone retail location, a 1,700-square-foot space highlighting over 100 brands, in the Larchmont Village neighborhood in Los Angeles, CA.

The inclusive beauty e-commerce destination co-founded by industry veterans Nyakio Grieco and Patrick Herning, announced an $8 million seed-plus investment round with new participation from The BrainTrust Fund back in January. The capital raise helped drive its omnichannel approach, supporting the brick-and-mortar expansion, experiential retail, and Relevant: Your Skin Seen brand expansion, according to a press release. 

Since its launch in 2020, thirteen lune has grown from an e-commerce destination featuring 13 foundational Black-founded brands, to offering 160-plus beauty brands on its platform, 90% of which are BIPOC-founded, with the remaining 10% being from ally brands. 

While the store is its first own-brand thirteen lune location, it’s not the first foray into physical retail either. The brand partnered with J.C. Penney in 2022 to help it build out its in-store beauty concept, J.C. Penney Beauty. In 2023, thirteen lune worked on expanding into 600 JCPenney locations nationwide.

According to the retailer, its new LA flagship features bold metallic finishes alongside an inviting lounge area and includes six brands-in-residence, meant to act as independent retail experiences. 

“The experiential retail model of the new flagship store allows for deeper, more meaningful discovery that supports and uplifts the community, driving diversity and inclusivity from every standpoint,” said the company in a statement. 

5. Kizik 

Kizik new york store

Kizik, a hands-free footwear brand, based in Lindon, UT, opened its first retail doors in Fashion Place Mall near Salt Lake City on May 19, 2023. 

Located in the heart of the company's home state, the retail store marks the first of many for Kizik, the retailer said, which experienced more than 250% growth last year and exceeded nine figures in sales.

Kizik's experiential retail concept invites consumers to "step inside" and experience the brand’s proprietary technologies, powered by parent company HandsFree Labs. Kizik creates shoes for every individual, from those who hate tying their shoelaces to those who simply can't. The brand's hands-free footwear leverages more than 170 pending and granted patents, enabling consumers to easily step in and out of their shoes. 

With a designated in-store try-on area, shoppers can step into their first pair of Kiziks. With an aesthetic designed by MG2/The Lionesque Group, the 1,293-square-foot locale offers a 38-foot glass frontage — uninterrupted by framing — to provide retail theater for passersby, while a larger-than-life digital tile screen showcases Kizik's signature step-in moments for all mall-goers to see.

"This is a pivotal moment for Kizik. To be opening our flagship store right down the street from where it all began is humbling and signals a new chapter for the company," said Kizik CEO Monte Deere in a statement. "We've seen incredible consumer reception through our e-commerce platform and are excited to provide a point of entry for new adopters of the brand to touch and try on Kizik footwear in a brick-and-mortar setting for the first time."

"Kizik's persona can be found throughout the space," said Melissa Gonzalez, an MG2 principal and founder of The Lionesque Group. "3D manifestations of the brand's iconography are thoughtfully incorporated into the store's display fixtures. Wall-mounted shelving has a squiggle edge, a nod to the Kizik shoe outsole. In one section of the space, a directional light and sound experience provides an unexpected sensory (and Instagrammable) moment."

Last Year's DTC Shops