February 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

Zappos reports 163% year-to-year rise in 2004 sales to $184 million

With a strong focus on customer service, shoe retailer Zappos.com continues its sharp growth since its 1999 debut. January sales of $28 million have it well on its way to surpassing its 2005 goal of $300 million, CEO Tony Hsieh says.

 

With a strong focus on customer service, shoe retailer Zappos.com Inc. continues its sharp growth since its 1999 debut. Its 2004 sales of $184 million rose 163% from $70 million in 2003, and January sales of $28 million have Zappos well on its way to surpassing its 2005 goal of $300 million, CEO Tony Hsieh says.

To maintain its emphasis on customer service, which is supported by a staff of more than 100 agents and 200 warehouse workers, Zappos plans to double its total workforce, including seasonal temps, this year to 1,000, Hsieh says.

“We are now at the point where, with our rapid growth, we risk losing our service-focused culture if we don`t do a good job of actively managing it,” he says.

In the past year, Zappos added handbags to its product line and more than doubled its warehouse space to 280,000 square feet to hold as many as 3 million pairs of footwear.

Hsieh adds that Las Vegas-based Zappos, which will consider adding more product categories, expects to reach $1 billion in gross merchandise sales by 2010.

 

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