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D2C to Wholesale: The Breakdown of Lingerie Titan Adore Me’s Wholesale Strategy

min read

published on

April 2, 2024

Over the past year, US-based lingerie retailer Adore Me (a Victoria’s Secret subsidiary) diversified from D2C sales to a B2B wholesale strategy to expand its revenue and attract a wider customer base. 

Our team at DJUST — a fully headless, unified B2B commerce platform — has partnered with Adore Me to help centralize its client relationships, consolidate its wholesale channels, and simplify everything from order management to customer interactions.

Trish Seidel, Head of Content at DJUST and Adore Me superfan, recently sat down with Ranjan Roy, the VP of Strategy at Adore Me, to discuss the transition and learn his tips for fashion companies looking to make a similar shift.

First off, could you speak about the catalyst for making the jump to wholesale?

One of the big things that pushed the idea of moving to wholesale was when we were purchased by Victoria’s Secret last year. Adore Me is still almost completely independent, but now, you can buy our products on That already meant wholesale would become a more natural part of the business.

We’ve also found that customers are becoming smarter, and the COVID era created a much more demanding online consumer.

Also, the idea that you could drive shopping behavior is something that online brands were more aggressive about throughout the 2010s. But now, even giants such as Meta, with Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shopping, have not been able to dictate how people shop.

With customers, you have to meet them where they are.

Can you tell us about Adore Me’s evolution from D2C to B2B wholesale and what a wholesale sales strategy means to you?

We sold direct-to-consumer exclusively for many years. We have six physical retail stores, and we’d done small experiments in different department stores. We had never really tried online marketplaces

Also, we had been very resistant to selling on Amazon. But then we saw data that one-third of all eCommerce searches in America start on Amazon. So, if someone saw a TV advertisement, searched our brand on Amazon, and there was nothing there and it showed competitors, that’s a huge miss.

We have this internal strategy called “Adore Me Everywhere.” We have multiple ways to shop, subscriptions being one of them. When you come to, we’re funneling consumers in different directions — there are options. 

But where are customers already? Online marketplaces — such as Zalando, Macy’s, Target, and Amazon — are the most natural extension for us, but also wholesale.

So, we had to adapt our systems and partnerships to help us plan our strategy and start building relationships with various marketplaces.

What were some of the internal conversations you were having around transitioning to using online marketplaces or B2B wholesale platforms?

Every additional channel increases the complexity of a business from inventory management and fulfillment standpoints. For example, are we dropshipping for a specific marketplace? Are we moving inventory to an Amazon fulfillment center?

The incredible level of complexity was one reason we were hesitant to go aggressively down this path.

What made you decide to partner with DJUST when transitioning to wholesale?

We recognized that with the complexity that comes from a shift from D2C to wholesale, starting from complete scratch didn’t make sense. 

This is such a specialized, niche thing that working with people who essentially built the world of online marketplaces made a lot more sense to make this move quickly. 

Rather than spending time building and connecting the pipes of our back end and our fulfillment to the marketplace, we can figure out how to advertise in the most optimal way. We can focus on which products to sell in which marketplaces, how to write copy on different marketplaces, and how to actually sell these products to specific audiences.

What are the next steps for Adore Me’s international expansion?

Any time you’re making any strategic shift, focus on the best allocation of your time. It’s the single most important thing, especially with international expansion. It’s no longer just inventory management. Now, you get into local regulations, exchange rates, etc.

So, when we were discussing how to approach international sales, the most logical way was to start on a marketplace. We’re going to start on Zalando in the EU and then work with partners like DJUST to make the transition as seamless as possible — because we recognize the opportunity is greater than ever, but the complexity is also.

What are some measurable goals that Adore Me has for its wholesale activities?

At a high level, it’s increasing the percentage of overall revenue that B2B wholesale sales make up. 

We also aim to understand the economics of each marketplace. Adore Me is one of the only scaled D2C brands that has been consistently profitable for years, and that is because of an obsessive focus on unit economics and acquisition economics.

It’s about setting KPIs to determine what margins to shoot for on each marketplace, what type of acquisition budgets we’re willing to experiment with, how we’re willing to discount, and what kinds of products to sell.

Per-channel unit economics sounds boring, but it’s the most important thing for us.

Adore Me has been a D2C company for many years, and you’re transitioning into a wholesale business strategy in a smart, safe, and innovative way. Do you have actionable tips for companies looking to do the same?

Number one, start with channels that have customer bases that don’t strongly overlap with your own

For us, the clearest opportunity is international where we’re not selling in specific countries, so there’s zero overlap. But even in the US, we think about which marketplaces have customers with a different economic and demographic profile than our existing customer base. 

Second, really think through where you can find scale. For example, platform shopping, like TikTok shopping, offers potentially huge scale — but no one’s cracked it yet. Whereas with Target, Amazon, Macy’s, and online marketplaces, many people have had a lot of success.

So, it’s about balancing where there’s opportunity versus what’s realistic. Our channel strategy is “quality over quantity.”

The bottom line

Through steering Adore Me from D2C to B2B wholesale, Ranjan Roy knows what it takes to successfully execute a new sales strategy. If you’re considering a similar shift, remember to focus on your strengths, decide where your time is best spent, and lean on trustworthy partners to handle the rest.

Many thanks to Ranjan for chatting with DJUST! Catch the full replay of Ranjan and Trish’s discussion here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a wholesale strategy?

A wholesale strategy is a sales model in which businesses sell directly to distributors and retailers, who can then resell products to consumers. When wholesaling, businesses typically sell their products in large volumes and at a discount.

What are the best examples of wholesale strategy?

Many clothing brands use a wholesale strategy. They sell their products to retailers, such as Walmart or Macy’s, which then resell products to consumers at a markup. Other examples of wholesaling include food companies selling to grocery stores and electronics manufacturers selling to retailers such as Best Buy.

About the author
Trish Seidel
Head of Content @ DJUST

Expert in all topics on SaaS marketing, SEO, branding, and content creation.

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