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Profiles of Remarkable Businesses (Collection) by FT Press Delivers

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How Zappos Shoes In Success

By the Editors of New Word City

Whenever he meets someone new, one of Tony Hsieh’s first questions is whether the person has ever shopped at Zappos.com, the online shoe store that he heads. One day in 2008, when Hsieh put his question to a businessman, it triggered a harangue. The man’s wife had spent $60,000 in a single year on Zappos. “I should pay you to remove [her] name from your database,” he said.

Hsieh (pronounced Shay) was inspired. Soon afterward, he announced that his shoe store would offer a “Cease and Desist” service. For the modest sum of $50,000, Zappos would agree to permanently disable the account of ...

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