About the brand
Ledbury is a premium shirtmaker and menswear brand based in Richmond, Virginia.
The brand was co-founded by Paul Tribble and Paul Watson in 2009 when the two founders had difficulty finding a great-fitting shirt of superb quality at a reasonable price. After apprenticing with a Jeremy Street shirtmaker in London to learn the art of shirtmaking, the duo came home to Virginia and introduced the US market to a shirt combining superior fit and unmatched quality, with subtle innovations to the classic men’s design.
Having formed deep relationships with their customers, Ledbury benefits from an extremely loyal clientele, with hundreds of their best customers owning more than 100 shirts each. The brand outfits noted journalists and reporters across the business and news media, including Andrew Sorkin and Anderson Cooper.
As the brand has grown, Ledbury has successfully expanded into mens sweaters, sports jackets and pants. These product extensions were natural fits for the brand’s core manufacturing capabilities. However, as the definition of business casual has grown, so too has Ledbury’s need to offer a wider selection of the highest quality products to its loyal customer base.
Making great product is not easy and Ledbury realized it would be extremely challenging to expand into new categories where it lacked previous product expertise. Of key importance was maintaining the highest quality standards and also delivering profitable growth to the bottom line.
In surveying the market, Ledbury identified several direct-to-consumer brands making complementary products who exhibited their same level of commitment to producing quality product. When approached, these brands lacked the desire to enter into wholesale partnerships to sell to Ledbury, as the wholesale channel lacks visibility into the customer relationship. Ledbury wasn’t eager to place wholesale orders either, as placing large orders unnecessarily ties up cash in inventory and can lead to markdowns that hurt margins. Ledbury also desired the flexibility to sell various styles offered by these brands to see which ones resonated the most with its customer base.
Ledbury was looking for a solution that would allow them to sell these brands without inventory commitments and without complicating their regular ecommerce operations. The brand also wanted to ensure its suppliers a seamless integration experience that provided visibility into the customers purchasing their products.
Ledbury joined the Honeycomb Commerce network and within minutes formed several cross-site selling partnerships with like-minded brands. Ledbury then coordinated with these partners on product assortments and requested samples to use for editorial purposes. In less than one week’s time, Ledbury launched its first fully integrated campaign featuring partner products.
Honeycomb’s technology has even allowed Ledbury to sell products from brands located in the European Union. All with zero inventory commitments.
Most importantly, selling partner products has had a dramatic impact on Ledbury’s business results:
With Ledbury only responsible for credit card processing fees, selling partner products has allowed the brand to grow customer lifetime value in a profitable way. Doing so also allows the brand to play a bigger role in servicing the needs of its customers, which increases its share of wallet.
In a world where commanding customer attention is getting increasingly more difficult, that's a very smart looking play.
“Honeycomb has allowed us to broaden our product assortment in a seamless, frictionless way. The service and the brands available are all top notch. They’ve been a hands on partner that is truly aligned and invested in our success.
Selling partner products using Honeycomb’s technology has allowed us to introduce our customers to exciting new brands with complementary offerings to our own beloved products. These introductions represent not only a new revenue stream for our brand but also allow us to provide trusted recommendations to our community. With so many options to choose from, our customers are looking to us to help inform their purchasing decisions and ease the burden of choice they face. Introducing our customers to new brands has allowed us to build further brand loyalty in an authentic way.”
- Ashley Millen, Ledbury’s VP of Marketing