The year was 1999, and our founder Nick Swinmurn was walking around a mall in San Francisco looking for a pair of shoes. One store had the right style, but not the right color. Another store had the right color, but not the right size. Nick spent the next hour in the mall, walking from store to store, and finally went home empty-handed and frustrated. At home, Nick tried looking for his shoes online and was again unsuccessful. Although there were a lot of "mom and pop" stores selling shoes online, what was interesting to Nick was that there was no major online retailer that specialized in shoes. So, since it was 1999 and anything seemed possible at the time, Nick decided to quit his day job and start an online shoe retailer and Zappos.com was born! In July of 2009, Zappos.com, Inc. announced its plans to join the Amazon.com, Inc. family. With both companies sharing such a strong passion for customer service, we were very excited to begin growing together, By 2010, Zappos had grown so much that there was need to restructure the company so that we could continue to offer customers the very best service possible. For us to have the flexibility to possibly sell anything and everything one day, we needed to make this change. On May 1, 2010, Zappos was restructured into ten separate companies under the Zappos Family umbrella.
On September 9, 2013, Zappos moved their headquarters from Henderson, Nevada to the former Las Vegas City Hall building in downtown Las Vegas, after an extensive $48 million effort to renovate and make major improvements to the building. CEO Tony Hsieh, who also leads the Downtown Project, an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas as a vibrant cultural and economic hotspot, has said he wants "to be in an area where everyone feels like they can hang out all the time and where there's not a huge distinction between working and playing."The move was lauded by Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman who said "this will be a game changer for Southern Nevada. This move will bring about a critical mass of creative persons to the inner core of Las Vegas in addition to causing a significant shot in the arm for the economy and for new jobs. Zappos.com offers free shipping and free return shipping with a 365-day return policy. Choose from over 1000 brands, over 100,000 styles, and over 3 million items from our warehouse full of shoes, clothing, handbags, and accessories.
A few months after its launch, the company's name was changed from ShoeSite to Zappos (a variation of "zapatos," the Spanish word for "shoes") so as not to limit itself to selling only footwear. In January 2000, Venture Frogs invested additional capital, and allowed Zappos to move into their office space. During this time, Hsieh found that he "had the most fun with Zappos" and came on board as co-CEO with Nick Swinmurn. After minimal gross sales in 1999, Zappos brought in $1.6 million in revenue in 2000. Zappos’ primary selling base is shoes, which accounts for about 80% of its business. Currently about 50,000 varieties of shoes are sold in the Zappos store, from brands like Nike, Ugg boots, ALDO Shoes, and Steve Madden heels. Zappos sells many different types of footwear including running shoes, soccer cleats, basketball shoes, high heels, dress shoes, slippers, sandals, and even Crocs. They also serve the niche shoe markets, including narrow and wide widths, hard-to-find sizes, American-made shoes, and vegan shoes. In 2004, they launched a second line of high-end shoes called Zappos Couture. In 2007, Zappos expanded their inventory to include clothing, handbags, eye wear, watches, and kids’ merchandise, which currently account for 20% of annual revenues. Zappos expects that clothing and accessories will bring in an additional $1 billion worth of revenue by 2015, as the clothing market is four times the size of the footwear market. Hsieh states that "our whole goal is we want to build the best brand of customer service. Hopefully, 10 years from now, people won’t even realize that we started selling shoes." Zappos sponsors the "Zappos Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon and ½ Marathon," which draw 28,000 runners each year. They also sponsor the Zappos WCC basketball championships. During the tournament, Zappos hosts "Kidz Day," which outfits local Las Vegas kids with a new pair of shoes and an event T-shirt. The company also sponsors a stretch of highway in the Las Vegas Valley area. We've been asked by a lot of people how we've grown so quickly, and the answer is actually really simple .we've aligned the entire organization around one mission: to provide the best customer service possible. Internally, we call this our WOW philosophy. And, we believe that it’s our unique, “fun and a little weird” culture that drives the WOW.