First year exceeds expectations for D2C outdoor resource

Outer’s new rug in gray is featured in this neighborhood showroom alongside its sofa.

A little over a year after its initial launch, D2C outdoor furniture resource Outer has a lot to celebrate, including what it considers to be a phenomenal year of sales and several new undertakings, despite the trials that have come with dealing with COVID-19.

“It was not what we expected out of the year, not what anyone expected, but we’ve been able to learn and thrive,” said Terry Lin, co-founder and chief design officer of the Los Angeles-based startup.

January and February of 2020 got the company off to a great start for the year. In both months, Outer beat its sales forecasts, but March’s mandatory lockdowns hit Outer with a huge shock much like the rest of the U.S.

“Week one happened, and I think we were all so confused, but we also thought we should hope for the best, and then things got really quiet,” said Lin. “Our run rate all of sudden slowed down, and we were asking, ‘do we need to reforecast?’”

But the dire situation flipped again within the next week as consumers got adjusted to their new stay at home

Small retailers responding in real-time to holiday shopping shifts, says Faire

More and more, independent retailers are adjusting on the fly this holiday season, placing smaller orders later in the season and adjusting their merchandising strategies and product assortments to correspond with consumer buying behavior, according to the online marketplace Faire.

Sara Ittelson, head of Faire’s strategic partnerships, shared her holiday buying insights during the Gift and Home Trade Association’s virtual conference last week.

“We think they [retailers] are buying closer to the season,” she said, citing the online trade fair’s recent holiday survey that was conducted online in the United States between Sept. 30 and Oct. 28 among more than 30,000 adults ages 18 and older. Retailers are purchasing earlier than in years past to prepare for shipping delays, and more than half of them said they’ll also continue purchasing later than in 2019. A lot of retailers want to make real-time adjustments and many are still actively re-stocking for the season, Ittelson noted.

She also highlighted several recent buying and selling trends revealed in the survey. Many retailers’ sales have recovered from where they were in the summer or early fall, and about a third of them are doing better than they were at this time last

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