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Online accessories brand The 5th flips business model

After operating a unique scarcity model for the past two-and-a-half years, online lifestyle brand The 5th is now open for business 24/7.

As of 5 May 2017, customers can buy the e-commerce company’s minimalist watches, sunglasses, backpacks and stationery products whenever they want.

Previously, The 5th only sold items for five days each month, an unusual move in online retail, which traditionally has exploited the ability to sell 24/7 to get a leg up on bricks-and-mortar retail.

While the scarcity model helped convert customers into ‘evangelists’ in the early days, growing demand required a change.

“Our business model of only selling for five days of the month has been really interesting and helped us launch the brand, but over time as our audience has grown globally and we’ve heard the shared cry from our community to evolve our business into one that is available all the time,” The 5th founder Alex McBride said.

But as McBride and his Melbourne-based small team evolve the 5TH business model, they are also looking at the evolution of their proposition.

The 5th will now launch a new, limited-edition watch on the fifth of each month, with May marking the debut of the Melbourne Class Act watch.

With just 100 units available, the new style delivers on the brand’s longstanding promise of exclusivity by time, rather than price.


“Our brand was born on exclusivity by time and we’re not going to lose that with only a hundred made of each new monthly release, but it’s great to know that our customers can get gifts or one of our classic models right when they need it,” McBride said.

The 5th is one of a new crop of e-commerce brands born on social media, doing $100,000 in sales on its first day of business in December 2014.

On its first birthday, the socially-savvy millennial brand went on to pass the $1-million-dollar mark in a single day’s sales.

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