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DTC Brands Open Physical Stores with Ghost Retailers

Ghost retailers stock up physical DTC stores

DTC Brands Open Physical Stores with Ghost Retailers
Ghost Retailers // Illustration by Kate Walker

Ghost retailers stock up physical DTC stores

The Future. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are turning to “ghost retailers” to build one-off physical stores, allowing DTCs to bypass the headaches of getting into brick-and-mortar. With shopping real estate in high supply after COVID shuttered businesses, ghost retailers could be crucial in filling and overseeing new occupants.

One and done
Opening a physical store is a lot of work, so DTC companies are outsourcing the hassle.

  • Ghost retailers such as Leap and Uppercase are helping DTC brands handle the heavy lifting of building brick-and-mortar stores.
  • They provide services that cover everything from real estate to construction to day-to-day operations.

Leap has built shops for brands such as Something Navy, Frank and Oak, and Birdies… all wanting to build flagship stores to stand out in the ever-competitive DTC space.

Let’s get physical
With everyone shifting to e-commerce during COVID, the true standouts are companies with the money to get physical. To meet demand, Leap already plans to increase its store count by 300% over the next year.

Like the ghost-kitchen movement that became popular last year, ghost retailers allow DTC brands to stay focused on their core business. Typically, DTC companies are only looking to build one or two locations, so hiring a company to take over the hard work is the easiest path to opening its doors.