Shopper Experience

Home shopping for the next gen

PrivCo's The Daily Stack offers a look at a retail reinvention. It's QVC meets DTC.

a live shopping event

A look at Bambuser's live event from Ted Baker (Screenshot by Bambuser)

This article originally appeared in The Daily Stack, a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform.

From brick-and-mortar stores to digitally native brands and back again, retailers are always trying new ways to reach new customers.

Increasingly, it seems brands are turning to old methods and making them new. Direct mail campaigns were left for mattress companies and grocers until DTC brands made them cool again. Now, it’s home shopping's turn for a rebrand.

The leaders of home shopping

QVC is the first company that comes to mind, reminding me of previous bouts of insomnia, up at 3 a.m. watching blank-staring models displaying sparkly bracelets and Christmas decorations. But the real frontrunners in the resurgence of home shopping are in China. The industry is already valued at $137 billion, utilizing today’s tech and home-shopping essentials like clever hosts and flash sales.

The Gen Z Effect

Gen Z is starting to earn disposable income as the generation hits its mid-twenties (the members in the cohort are between 10 and 25 years old), contributing to their $360 billion spending power. For these kids who have grown up trusting their Youtube creators and TikTok stars like the cool older siblings they wish they had, reaching them by authentic, relatable sellers makes all the difference. The new home shopping is a mix of influencer sponcon, social media and a dash of QVC.


Whatnot is a leader in this space. The company has created a marketplace where anyone can become a seller, promote a launch, and livestream his or her inventory of vintage tees, playing cards, or NFTs. Bambuser was an innovator in the category and has been the brand choice for live shopping events. The Stockholm-based company went public in 2017.

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Is there a place for specialty retail?

Identity, value and innovation are keys to remaining relevant for specialty retail, CI&T's Melissa Minkow writes.

a Bed Bath & Beyond store

"There's no Bed Bath & Inbetween," writes CI&T's Melissa Minkow. (Photo by Flickr user JJbers, used under a Creative Commons license).

The recent Bed Bath & Beyond news has begged many questions, but the unbranded, overarching question that should be getting asked, is “What is the future of specialty retail?”

Every day, big box retailers bring another DTC brand under their roof and add even more categories to their assortment. What’s more, the increase in marketplace models and constant debut of new DTC brands paint a vivid picture of a challenging landscape for specialty. Over the last decade, and especially over the last year (thanks to inflation), retail has bifurcated from a price standpoint, matching the widening gap between high and low income. Now, it seems successful specialty retail is following a somewhat similar suit: either you’re DTC or you’re big box, there’s no Bed Bath & Inbetween.

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