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Zappos to Open ‘Experiential Fulfillment’ Center and Outlet Concept in Kentucky

To mark the beginning of its 20th anniversary, Zappos has announced it will be opening the doors of a brand new 325,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday.

Calling itself a customer service company “that just so happens to sell shoes, clothing and more,” Zappos will also simultaneously open a newly “redesigned and rebranded” outlet store concept, “The Outlet: Powered By Zappos.” The new location will be directly attached to the Louisville facility and will replace the outlet store the company operated on the same property before the expansion.

In a statement, Zappos said that the introduction of a new fulfillment center in its distribution system will allow it to “impact the customer experience starting at the warehouse,” something the brand says hasn’t been seen from it “in a long time.” In order to fulfill its own goals for the new facility, Zappos plans to hire more than 100 new employees to staff it over the next two years for a variety of roles.

“This being Zappos’ 20th anniversary, we felt it was the right time to focus on new and exciting ways to amplify the physical aspects of what’s involved with the customer shopping experience,” Justin Brown, senior director of operations at Zappos told Sourcing Journal. “We think of it as “experiential-fulfillment”—while this new fulfillment center and outlet will impact a portion of our product, we’re going to see it through from start to finish with the customer.”

To mark the occasion, the retailer will be holding a Grand Opening Celebration on Friday to introduce consumers to the outlet concept. To open the festivities, Zappos will give the first 10 shoppers in line access to an “exclusive stockroom full of WOW-inducing products.”

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“For anyone who’s familiar with our outlet, this move and rebranding is going to feature an entirely brand new, made-over experience,” Brown explained. “We’re going to have all the same amazing brands and products our customers are used to at incredible prices, but now—as the store is located literally inside our warehouse—customers will get an entirely new look behind the curtain.”

For everyone else who shows up on opening day, Zappos says there will be a selection of local food trucks, complimentary champagne and beverages along with a 30 percent total purchase discount on the already discounted outlet merchandise.

As far as why the retailer chose to place a new fulfillment center just under 15 miles away from an existing Amazon-run facility in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, Brown said that Louisville, and the greater Kentucky region, was a “match made in heaven.”

“We have always felt at home in Kentucky,” Brown said. “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.”