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Zappos Milestone: Timeline

In just a decade, Zappos.com has emerged as an influential online retailer.

Zapposcom outlet

Zappos.com

Photo By Courtesy Photo

The company publishes its first “Culture Book” filled with employee contributions about the corporate culture

Zappos.com's "Culture Book."

Photo By Courtesy Photo

1999
• Founder Nick Swinmurn comes up with the idea to start an online shoe destination called ShoeSite.com.
• Swinmurn meets Tony Hsieh, a young entrepreneur who invests $500,000 in the company.
• In July, the name is changed to Zappos.com, after zapatos, which is Spanish for “shoes.”
• Gross sales are minimal.

2000
• Hsieh, then running a venture capital firm called Venture Frogs, comes on board as
co-CEO with Swinmurn.
• $1.6 million in gross sales.

2001
• $8.6 million in gross sales.

2002
• Zappos takes on its own inventory, opening a fulfillment center in Kentucky.
• $32 million in gross sales.

2003
• $70 million in gross sales.

2004
• Zappos moves from San Francisco to its
current location in Henderson, Nev.
• Sequoia Capital invests in the site.
• The first Zappos outlet store opens in Kentucky.
• The company publishes its first “Culture Book,” filled with employee contributions about the corporate culture.
• $184 million in gross sales.
2005
• Hsieh hires Venture Frogs co-founder Alfred Lin to be the e-tailer’s CFO full-time.
• Sequoia provides a second round of investment, totaling $35 million altogether.
• Zappos offers its first quit-now bonuses ($100 at the time) to new hires who want to leave after training. It is now $2,000.
• Footwear News names Zappos E-tailer of the Year.
• $370 million in gross sales.

2006
• Swinmurn leaves the company.
• Zappos moves to a larger fulfillment center in Shepherdsville, Ky.
• $597 million in gross sales.

2007
• Zappos’ Canadian site launches.
• The company acquires footwear and accessories e-tailer 6pm.com from eBags.com.
• New categories are added, including handbags, eyewear, clothing, kids’ merchandise and watches.
• $840 million in gross sales.

2008
• $1 billion in gross sales.
• Zappos debuts first TV ad campaign, “Put a Little Zappos in Your Day.”
• In July, the fulfillment center in Shepherdsville installs a new system using Kiva robots to help fill orders.
• In November, Zappos lays off 8 percent of its workforce.
• In December, the company launches
ZapposInsights.com, a subscription service ($40 per month), where other businesses learn from its success and pose questions to current employees.

2009
• Zappos turns 10.
• In February, Fortune magazine ranks Zappos as No. 23 on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
• Product-driven ads hit major cable networks.