Author: Daphne Howland
Source: Retail Dive
Amazon-owned Zappos.com on Friday opened a 325,000-square-foot fulfillment center and retail outlet in Louisville, Kentucky.
The move will allow the company to grow by more than 100 new employees over the next two years, according to a company press release.
The company previously ran an outlet store at the Zappos fulfillment center in nearby Shepherdsville, Kentucky, under its outlet label, 6pm. That location is now closed. Zappos didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for more information.
Zappos, even before its 2009 acquisition by Amazon, was already running a fulfillment center in Kentucky when it acquired eBags-owned 6pm in 2007, according to a timeline from Footwear News.
"We have always felt at home in Kentucky," Zappos Senior Director of Operations Justin Brown said in a statement. "Since our very early days, we have grown and deepened our strong relationship with Louisville. We're thrilled to bring even more Kentuckians in the family. From the city's many art installations to the slogan 'Keep Louisville Weird' – it's a match made in heaven!"
The budget 6pm line calls itself the "discount retail division of Zappos," but that branding may be changing, a move that would allow Zappos to leverage a higher level of brand recognition. A company spokesperson didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for confirmation and comment on any brand evolution. In any case, 6pm itself lists the store as "The Outlet Powered By Zappos."
Aside from the outlet store, temporary pop-ups and its previous The Ones retail concept pop-ups, Zappos has seemed content to run as a pure-play retailer. The company a couple of years ago made a splash with brick-and-mortar locations for its ongoing The Ones campaign focusing on vintage and classic sneakers.
The move to Louisville comes as Zappos celebrates its 20th year in business, according to the release.