Richmond, VA-based men's luxury apparel company Ledbury started like many digital brands do these days: online. Originally, it stood out with its high-quality product line at a competitive price in an effort to cut out the retail middleman. Over time, customers began walking into their favorite department stores requesting Ledbury apparel. Soon enough, brick-and-mortar retailers began stocking their shelves with Ledbury — an exciting business move that CEO and co-founder Paul Trible hadn’t anticipated.
While Ledbury’s customer base was thrilled by the expansion, many brick-and-mortars viewed it as competition, so Trible created a unique program as a solution. “More than once, I had retailers say to me, ‘Why would I pay you to steal my customers?’ ” said Trible, according to Entrepreneur. “What if we draw a geographic circle around retailers and say, ‘Any purchase made online within this territory, you’ll get a financial credit that can go toward purchasing more Ledbury inventory’?”
Today, Ledbury products are sold in 150 storefronts, and any purchase made within 10 miles of each store will credit the store owner up to 10% of its purchase. While this program hasn’t immediately generated a hefty cash flow for retailers (currently it brings in an average of $50 per month) it has still proven beneficial.
“Our data shows that Ledbury would be getting the vast majority of those online sales anyway,” said Trible. “When retailers receive that balance sheet at the end of every month, they know we’re not hurting their business.”