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CNBC has an interview with Marc Lore, who has created several e-commerce companies and most recently ran Walmart's US e-commerce  business, in which he saw a "hot market for direct-to-consumer retailers such as Warby Parker and Allbirds, which offer something special that mass merchants such as Walmart are having a hard time replicating."

The comments came as Warby Parker filed for an IPO.

“Their products resonate with customers — a certain demographic — that are difficult for big mass merchants to replicate,” Lore told CNBC, adding, "“Those companies will continue to grow and get bigger, and it’s difficult for mass retailers to replicate those types of brands inside … it’d be really tough for those brands to have a real soul.”

Lore went on:  "Something that really makes those brands special, like Warby Parker, is that connection to the customer. ... Things that really resonate with millennial, Gen Z-type customers, you just can’t create that from scratch, from a mass merchant. It’s not authentic."

KC's View:

So the secret sauce for success includes soul and authenticity.

Go figure.  Doesn't sound so hard.

Except that, as we all know, it really is.