A capital injection and the recent addition of a former Nike executive has allowed a Las Vegas-based e-commerce company to grow.
TheDrop.com, an online marketplace selling top streetwear and skateboarding brands, announced this week that Scott Keating will step into the newly created role of director of merchandising. Keating, previously global sales and brand director for Nike SB, joins two months after TheDrop raised $4.6 million in a Series A funding round.
Matt Falcinelli, CEO of TheDrop, said the capital injection has helped the company recruit employees to meet growing consumer demand. He added that he is also looking for office space. The company has been operating remotely since its launch in July 2017.
“We are 14 people (now). We were nine people for two years – tearing our hair out, testing the limits of our sanity,” Falcinelli said. “We were about to sign a lease just before the pandemic and luckily, literally just before it all hit, we thought maybe we should wait. But we want to set up our base downtown…where we can just have this creative office open.
TheDrop has grown from hosting clothing and footwear from 20 brands to over 300 and credits the expansion to its proprietary software platform and focus on creating weekly drops, in which a curated mix of new arrivals appears on the website.
Falcinelli said it not only helps young brands that may not have the resources to run an e-commerce site, but also big brands like Nike, Vans, Volcom and Timberland.
“Big brands are starting to cut a lot of their wholesale accounts so they don’t go to big multi-brand retailers because they want to sell more directly,” Falcinelli said. “But they don’t have that expertise in-house, so they need a platform like ours that can immediately help place the margin dollars they remove from their wholesale channel.”
Falcinelli launched TheDrop in 2017 after stints at Backcountry.com and Skullcandy, where he focused on the software side and data analysis.
He said the company launched with 20 brands that “were friends of ours who ran those brands or owned those brands,” adding that the company had no marketing budget.
“We built it because we know hardly any brand in our industry has in-house software developers, but we created a way for them to sync up with us and make it ridiculously easy and that’s which made it a no-brainer for a lot of brands,” Falcinelli said.
The site sells clothing and shoes for men, women and children as well as home goods such as art books from Taschen and candles from Boy Smells and even pet accessories. And its target audience are millennial and Gen Z shoppers.
TheDrop does not handle merchandise, so brands are responsible for order fulfillment and shipping, but TheDrop handles payments and customer service. So when a customer orders sneakers, they receive their confirmation and shipping updates from TheDrop, but behind the scenes, the sneaker brand packs and ships the order.
Falcinelli said the company makes money by taking a percentage of each trade.
“It’s just a cost to the brand or the store when something sells,” he said. “In exchange, we handle marketing costs, payment processing and any fraud or chargebacks, as well as customer service.”
Falcinelli said in a company statement that the addition of Keating will allow the brand to expand its business.
Keating spent 14 years at Nike in several leadership roles, including heading the now-defunct Nike Snowboarding division. At TheDrop, he will be responsible for leading the company’s overall merchandising strategy and managing its brand relationships.
Falcinelli told the Review-Journal that its latest round of funding will not only enable new hires, but will also help the company grow its storytelling initiatives, which involves bringing new product releases to market on its website and channels. of social media. For example, he created a blog post this week, delving into the backstory of Seattle-based brand Thank You Skate Co., while highlighting the brand’s t-shirts and skateboards available at home. shopping on TheDrop.
“It’s a balance for us,” Falcinelli said. “We want to get to the point where you want to come and pick up a pair of Vans, but ‘OK, we’d like to tell you about these other brands,’ like Clearweather and the brands that are coming in very quickly.”
He said that’s also why the company hopes to establish its headquarters in downtown Las Vegas soon.
“We really want to help incubate future businesses in our industry and kind of start creating a fashion ecosystem in Las Vegas,” he said. “We are very optimistic about Las Vegas, about downtown and the arts district. And we want to be a catalyst for positive growth there.