Shirt maker irons out its retail operation

Inside Ledbury's renovated space on South 14th Street. (Photos courtesy of Ledbury)

Inside Ledbury’s renovated space on South 14th Street. (Photos courtesy of Ledbury)

Ledbury this week finished a $10,000 renovation to its 500-square-foot storefront on South 14th Street. The updated space includes new shelving, lighting and a wall to set it off from the rest of the company’s 4,100-square-foot headquarters.

Paul Trible, left, and Paul Watson.

Paul Trible, left, and Paul Watson.

Ledbury co-founder Paul Watson said the upgrade is part of the company’s push to amp up its local retail sales after four years in business as mostly an online retailer.

“We’ve always seen ourselves as a Richmond retailer, but we’ve never really put our resources into building a proper retail space,” said Watson, who co-founded the company in 2009 with Paul Trible. “We thought now is the time to change that.”

About 95 percent of Ledbury purchases are made online, but Watson said sales in the Richmond location have grown over the past year. It’s one of the company’s top five U.S. markets, along with New York and Washington.

Ledbury marketing director Elisabeth Edelman said the company is adding staff to oversee the shop full-time and expanding its hours to include Saturdays.

“We want to serve Richmond better and to have more sales come through the retail space,” Edelman said. “We’d like to make it more profitable than it has been.”

Order Design Co. and Kevin Daley designed the storefront’s new look.

Watson said Ledbury doesn’t have plans for additional retail locations, but it has done some pop-up stores in Atlanta, New York and Charleston.

“It’s way to solidify our relationship with existing customers and to get in front of people who have heard of us but haven’t made that first purchase yet,” Watson said.

Ledbury closed in September on a $1.65 million capital raise aimed at growing its product line. In addition to its high-end men’s shirts, Ledbury has also added pocket squares and belts to repertoire.

About a year ago, it took over the space next door to add 1,400 square feet to its operations. The company has 14 employees.

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Great Service, Shirts, and Owners. Nice to see the make a even bigger investment in their home base.

michael downy