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I Hear Voices From Liza Amlani -- Retail Strategy Expert
Liza Amlani --  Retail Strategy Expert Liza Amlani -- Retail Strategy Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Toronto, Ontario
Wednesday, April 10, 2024


The brand, Outdoor Voices, has taken a rather wild (and peculiar) ride toward bankruptcy. Late last month, it was reported that the majority of the corporate staff was laid off and stores were abruptly closed.

One might wonder what caused this brand to stumble and fall flat on its face.

Oh yes, that’s right. Another DTC darling that got on a rocketship of funding, soared to a $110 million valuation, got into an executive spat and then a venture capital firm took hold of the steering wheel.

What could go wrong? 


Ashley Merrill took over as CEO after founder, Ty Haney, left the company. Her initial priority was fundraising. Not getting the retail business right. Not evaluating the assortment. But, go fundraise.

It didn’t seem to matter if funds were raised because vendors were not getting paid. In fact, last week, a subsidiary of MAS Holdings served Outdoor Voices with a $2.5 million lawsuit because the brand hasn’t been paying their bills for the past 2 years.

If you read more about Merill’s leadership style and decision-making process, you’ll find the same type of inane leadership that is routinely found in fashion. 

For example:

  • Killing off the size-inclusive range of products and having all designs fit to her body. 
  • Disrupting the product creation process with her impulsiveness, delaying products getting to market.
  • Disconnecting the brand from its customers.

And of course, it’s the frontline staff that pays for this type of ineptness with being served their walking papers. 

It’s a shame to see the types of stories playing out, unfortunately this is not at all surprising. DTC brands in particular who ride the road to fame via raising money but who don’t have their fundamentals in check are doomed to crash, burn and fail.

They should probably stop listening to the voices in their echo chambers. That’s a good place to start.

Retail Strategy Group works with market-leading brands to help them improve profitability and increase organizational effectiveness. For more information, visit www.retailstrategygroup.com.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Raj Dhiman
Title: Chief Rainmaker
Group: Retail Strategy Group
Dateline: London, ON Canada
Direct Phone: 416-627-3008
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