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The Edit LDN CEO shares his winning approach to digital, instore and community
We caught up with The Edit LDN CEO Moses Rashid ahead of his participation at our ThinkTanks London event on April 27, where Moses will participate in a panel and a series of roundtable workshops focussing on CX. Register your interest in attending here.
Sneakers are a global phenomenon
As a three-year-old business that launched online just two months before the pandemic, limited edition sneaker and clothing brand The Edit London is unique in its pandemic pivot – moving from eCommerce to brick and mortar. But its founder and CEO, Moses Rashid, is a sneaker and fashion aficionado who implemented his knowledge of these sectors to accelerate the brand’s future.
“Sneakers are a global phenomenon,” says Rashid. “They’re very similar to watches or art. They’re an asset class, and they need to be presented in the right way.”
With The Edit London’s proposition being more expensive than most, Rashid prioritised his customers’ experience to keep the lux element at the brand’s centre and used innovation to improve engagement. In addition, he opted for an omnichannel approach, recognising the services that his target community desired and utilised partnerships to push the brand further.
Spotting a gap in the market
Previously, limited edition sneakers and streetwear items were only available in independent stores or global platforms. Yet, The Edit London’s success proves the demand for a high-end niche business product.
The brand targets high-net-worth individuals interested in acquiring rare items, with the brand’s average online order valued between £360 to £400. However, Rashid sought to make his services more premium after recognising that his customers had more liquid cash to invest in luxury items in mid-2020, so he created “money-can’t-buy” experiences across touchpoints at a higher price point.
“The customer wants more than just a transaction,” he says. “Certainly, in a market like ours, it's even more about culture and being part of a community.”
He embedded premium eCommerce services, like same-day delivery - meaning that orders arrive at a rate quicker than Amazon – free returns, guaranteed email responses in 30 minutes and one-on-one personal shopping, which positioned the brand as a trusted supplier within the limited-edition sector. In addition, the Edit removed obvious consumer pain points around buying high-value objects online to maintain a luxury purchasing experience.
Belonging in the physical space
“Physical retail wasn’t in the original business plan,” admits Rashid. “But after receiving much press in mid-2021, we questioned whether we could expand to reach a different demographic – one that was cool and trendy and shopped in luxury retail.”
Now stocked in London’s Harrods, Doha’s Galeries Lafayette and Riyadh’s Harvey Nichols and with plans to open lines in Dubai and Amsterdam this summer – and with further launches possible in New York, Las Vegas or LA – it’s likely that more of The Edits’ revenue will come from offline. In 2020 alone, 70% of the brand’s revenue came from eCommerce sales, with only 30% from concession sales and private shopping.
The brand utilises excellent in-store curation to showcase its rare physical products, draw shoppers in, and provide aspirational window shopping and opportune moments for creating social content.
“We're able to get access to early pairs of sneakers,” says Rashid. “And we’ll sell them on to our personal shopping clients. That's the level of access you can expect when you have a high average order value with us.”
The Edit has cultivated trustworthy and exclusive status within the limited-edition space through its access to rare stock and celebrity partnerships. With global-level endorsements from investors as wide-reaching as La La Antony (friend to Kim Kardashian), basketball player P.J. Tucker, English footballer Jesse Lingard and more, and boasting partnerships with the Chicago Bulls, The Edit is the epitome of sneaker culture.
“It’s about bucking trends and questioning how to be most disruptive and innovative within our space,” says Rashid. “We want to engage our consumers by doing really cool shit.”
These cross-channel experiences allow Rashid to connect the brand’s physical and digital offerings while creating moments for fans to get involved in.
Some 70% of The Edit’s customers are under 25, and Rashid is well aware of how socially conscious young people are today. So he’s embedded sustainability into the brand’s offering by removing 1kg of plastic from the Indonesian ocean with every purchase and creating an eco-friendly collection of pre-loved items. Since the brand’s launch, half a million kilos of plastic has been removed. And Rashid is already planning to build out its pre-loved marketplace to encourage consumers to shop more mindfully and be more considerate of the products’ journey and origins.
The Edit also invests in different innovations to keep up with evolving trends and understand youth culture. For example, the brand has entered the metaverse, with users able to purchase products digitally and physically – so they can now dress their avatar.
While there may be a commercial value to the metaverse later, Rashid believes it's a space that will attract clientele.
“Kids are increasingly savvy and understand the value of high net worth assets,” he says. “They’re the early adopters of technology. Many already have NFTs and crypto, which they’re trading to make extra money. They’re investors. We want to be a place where they can practically deploy these assets and draw the currency down.”
The Edit’s robustness means that the brand can constantly test and measure its exploration into tech – and continue reacting to new realms as prompted by its consumers.
“Sneakers are wearable collectables,” says Rashid. “But there’s a whole community that sits behind them.”
While The Edit has worked hard to tap into access stories and fashion trends set by youth culture, Rashid knows just how fast the brand needs to keep moving to keep up and remain relevant.
“Trends change very quickly,” he concludes. “A great example is Yeezy, which accounted for a considerable amount of our revenue, but after Kanye changed course, we saw an emergence of former brands, like New Balance and ASICs, rise in popularity. The fun bit is trying to forecast and understand where trends are coming from and why they’re hot. We’re constantly learning how to be closer to our community and always asking for feedback to serve them what they want.”