July 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

Zappos.com says 2008 sales on $1 billion track despite economy

Zappos.com says its customer base has topped 8.2 million, giving the online shoe and apparel retailer a leg up in reaching its 2008 sales goal of $1 billion, says CEO Tony Hsieh.

Zappos.com Inc. says its customer base has topped 8.2 million, giving the online shoe and apparel retailer a leg up in reaching its 2008 sales goal of $1 billion, says CEO Tony Hsieh. “Back in 2003, we had set the goal of hitting $1 billion by 2010, so we’re very excited that we’re on track to hit the $1 billion milestone ahead of our original goal,” he says. Sales in 2007 exceeded $840 million.

Other achievements so far in 2008 include carrying more than 4 million items in its warehouse system, and continuing customer loyalty. “On any given day, approximately 75% of our sales are from repeat customers,” Hsieh says.

Zappos sales are growing in all categories, he says, particularly non-footwear including apparel, handbags and watches. Apparel sales are up by 250% compared with last year, Hsieh says.

Internal information technology projects include developing a new technology platform dubbed “Zeta,” which will improve search and browsing. The company’s “Powered by Zappos” web site design and hosting software soon will be moved to the new Zeta platform as it seeks more customers.

Zappos also has implemented warehouse technology from Kiva Systems Inc. as it expands operations to include new product categories.

Zappos.com is No. 27 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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