Financial Advisor to Amazon on Acquisition of Zappos
Zappos is an e-commerce retailer of shoes, celebrated for its impressive customer service culture. Zappos introduced free shipping and returns to allow for almost frictionless ordering. Founded by Nick Swinmum, Tony Hsieh and Alfred Lin in 1999 as ShoeSite.com, the business reached $1 billion of sales by 2008 – 80% in shoes and 20% in apparel and fashion accessories.
Amazon saw Zappos as a way to invest in deep vertical market expertise with an opportunity for huge volumes and cost reductions applying Amazon’s massive scale. Zappos continues to operate as a standalone branded subsidiary of Amazon in Las Vegas, Nevada.