The kids’ brand Rockets of Awesome is the latest DTC to stumble

March 3, 2020 – Fast Company – The kids’ apparel brand Rockets of Awesome is laying off about half of its staff and is shuttering its New York store, according to new reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

Rachel Blumenthal founded Rockets of Awesome in 2016 as a quarterly subscription service that would deliver boxes of trendy clothes that were designed in-house. The brand was one of several similar subscription services that also include Kidbox and Stitchfix Kids. Last year, when Rockets of Awesome nabbed $12.5 million in funding from Foot Locker’s investment arm, Blumenthal told me that her goal was to become a multichannel brand that would sell clothes in its own stores and through retailers, including Foot Locker’s stores and website. “The goal is to be available to parents in whatever way they prefer to shop,” she told me last year.

But just a year later, Rockets of Awesome is struggling, and the startup is far from alone. A spate of well-funded, direct-to-consumer brands have had difficulty balancing profitability with the need to acquire customers and achieve brand awareness through marketing. Companies that land millions in capital must respond to intense investor pressures, and many direct-to-consumer startups have found themselves in choppy waters this year. And it’s only March.

Read more at Fast Company.