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Type Private
Founded 1999
Headquarters headquarters: Henderson, Nevada, USA
warehouse: Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Key people Nick Swinmurn, founder
Tony Hsieh, CEO
Alfred Lin, CFO
Industry Retail
Products Shoes, handbags, eyewear, accessories, apparel
Revenue $840 million (2007)[1]
Employees 1500+
Website is an online shoe and clothing shop. Currently based in Henderson, Nevada, USA.[2], the company warehouse is located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, along with an outlet store. In addition, Zappos has two outlets stores in Las Vegas, Nevada and Henderson.

Since its founding in 1999, Zappos has grown to be the biggest online shoe store.[3] Zappos did "almost nothing" in sales for 1999, but grossed over $800 million in merchandise sales in 2007, and is projecting over $1 billion in 2008.[1] The company was acquired by for a reported $1.2 billion.[4]

The name Zappos is derived from the Spanish word zapatos, meaning shoes.



File:Zapposcomheadquarters.jpg headquarters in Henderson

Zappos has expanded from shoes to handbags and purses, and has launched a second line of high-end shoes called Zappos Couture.[citation needed] Zappos also serves the niche shoe markets, including narrow and wide widths, hard-to-find sizes, American-made shoes, vegan shoes, and Zappos exclusives.[citation needed] Recently, Zappos has started to sell eyewear, apparel, and watches, as well as electronic devices and media, such as DVDs.[citation needed]

Sales model

Zappos uses a loyalty business model and relationship marketing. The primary sources of the company's rapid growth have been repeat customers and numerous word of mouth recommendations.[5][6] In 2005, the chairman reported that 60% of customers were repeat buyers.[6]

Zappos has a stated goal to offer "best service in the industry."[7] Their service promotes such benefits as:

They ended their 110% price protection policy and free overnight shipping in January 2008.[8] The company promises 4-day shipping free with all orders but often delivers next-day anyway, so as to pleasantly surprise customers.[9]

Company culture and core values

Zappos claims to place great emphasis on company culture and core values. The company publishes a "Culture Book" annually that is made up of contributions from employees describing what the company culture means to them.[10]

According to the company, the core value is to "deliver 'wow' through service."[11] A list on their website lists ten guiding principles embraced by the company.[11]

All employees that are hired for their corporate office, regardless of position, are required to undergo a 4-week customer loyalty training course, which includes at least 2 weeks of talking on the phone with customers in the call center[9] at full salary. After a week of training, the new employees are offered $2,000 to leave the company immediately, no strings attached.[9] This is to ensure people are there for the love of the job and not the money. Over 97% turn down the buyout.[12] The quit-now bonus began at $100. It was soon bumped to $500 then $1,000. They currently offer $2,000 to "quit now".[12]

The company's culture focuses on making sure every interaction with the customer results in them saying, “That was the best customer service I have ever had.” [13]


Sale to

It was announced on July 22, 2009 that wouldbuy Zappos for $940 million in a stock and cash deal.[14][15][16][17] Owners of shares of Zappos were set to receive approximately 10 million shares, and employees would receive a separate $40 million in cash and restricted stock units.[16] The deal was eventually closed in November 2009 for a reported $1.2 billion.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 about
  2. Max Chafkin (2006). "How I Did It: Tony Hsieh, CEO,". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. Sidra Durst (2007). "Shoe In". CNN. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wauters, Robin (2009-11-02). "Amazon Closes Zappos Deal, Ends Up Paying $1.2 Billion". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  5. Shoe Fits,, 2005
  6. 6.0 6.1 Spotlight on BBBOnLine Participant Zappos.Com, BBBOnLine Update: June 2005, Vol.5 No. 6
  7. Customer Service,
  8. Chavda, Pranav (2008-01-09). "No more Free overnight shipping at Zappos!". Final Tag. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bill Taylor (2008). "Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit—And You Should Too". Harvard Business Review. 
  10. Gear Zappos Culture Book - 2007 Edition - Free Shipping Both Ways & 365-Day Return Policy
  11. 11.0 11.1 Core Values "1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  12. 12.0 12.1 Keith McFarland (2008). "Why Zappos Offers New Hires $2,000 to Quit". BusinessWeek. 
  13. Bye, Adrian. "Tony Hsieh from Zappos". Adrian Bye's meetinnovators. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  14. Haislip, Alexander (July 22, 2009). "Zappos CEO Wanted To Stay Independent, Sequoia Wanted Liquidity—Sources". Private Equity Hub.—sources/. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  15. McCarthy, Caroline (July 22, 2009). "Amazon to snap up Zappos". CNet News. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Letzing, John (July 22, 2009). "Amazon buys retailer Zappos in $807 million deal". MarketWatch. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 
  17. "Report: VCs forced Zappos sale". San Francisco Business Times. July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009. 

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