January 12, 2004, 12:00 AM

Zappos.com posts record sales for holidays and year

Shoe retailer Zappos.com reports that November and December sales rose 127% from last year to $20.5 million and finishes the year with total sales that rose 118% to $70 million. Shoebuy.com also reports strong sales increases.

Internet shoe retailer Zappos.com reports that this holiday shopping season was the most successful in its four-year history, with sales of $20.5 million on November and December, a 127% increase over the $9 million in revenue for the same period last year. Zappos also had record sales for the entire year, finishing the year with sales of $70 million. That’s $5 million ahead of earlier projections and an increase of 118% over sales of $32 million last year, the company says.


Zappos.com attributes a large measure of its performance to the breadth of partnerships it has built with key suppliers. “We accomplished our remarkable growth through creating strong, full-margin relationships with key vendors in the footwear industry,” says CEO Tony Hsieh. “We’ve proven that stellar customer service and a broad selection are essential elements to creating a successful shopping experience for our customers.” Zappos stocks more than 400,000 pairs of footwear from 200 brands in its warehouse facility in Kentucky and also operates two retailer stores and a warehouse outlet store.


During the holiday, Zappos provided free overnight shipping to all online customer orders placed on December 23, so as to ensure delivery by Christmas. Helping to boost online sales through the year is a 365-day return policy that offers free return shipping on all purchases.


At Shoebuy, December sales rose by more than 50% over November, and that November rose 35% above October’s sales, said CEO Scott Savitz. He also attributed strong sales to free shipping on orders and returns and $1 billion inventory of footwear, handbags and luggage through drop-shipment arrangements with more than 200 brands.


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