I love to shop and I love shoes, so it stands to reason that I love to shop for shoes. With that goal in mind, I set out for Shepherdsville, Kentucky and the Zappos Shoe Outlet. What I was about to experience can only be described as shoe heaven.
Inspired by a frustrating shopping experience, Zappos.com was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn. Unable to find a pair of brown Airwalks in his local mall, he returned home and did an online search, which also proved fruitless. It was then that he decided the shoe buying public needed more options.
Zappos.com is now the world’s largest online shoe store offering thousands of name brand shoes at great prices. The name, Zappos, is a variation of the word “zapatos,” which is Spanish for “shoes.” While shoes are still the main attraction, handbags, clothing and accessories were added to enhance the website’s offerings.
The company is known for its dedication to high quality products and exemplary customer service. Free shipping (both ways), a 365 day return policy and a 24/7 call center are just a few examples of this service. With the business growing to $8.6 million in sales by 2001, the company decided that in order to maintain customer service, it was necessary to have more control of the inventory.
That same year the Henderson, Nevada based company decided to open their own 50,000 square foot Fulfillment Center in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Shepherdsville was chosen due to its central location, offering ease of shipping across the country. Today the Fulfillment Center has reached over 1 million square feet, housing more than 3 million shoes, handbags, clothing items and accessories from over 1,136 brands. Every morning, many trucks arrive to drop off merchandise from various vendors. The staff receives and processes tens of thousands of items each day.
Imagine my excitement when I arrived at the outlet store and saw the words “50% Off” etched right into the glass door. Once inside, I discovered the prices are 50% off the lowest discounted price of every item, every day! They also have other sales going on at all times, some that vary by day or month. They have color codes on the boxes and each month they will have one color tag that runs 60% off and one at 70% off. In addition to these sales they run wacky sales that may happen at any time. The day I was shopping they were featuring all boots at 70% off. I have also heard of sales where they may make all shoes of a certain type or color a special price, such as, all sandals for $10.00. For the serious bargain shopper like me, it is an exciting moment to happen upon such a sale. They don’t announce these special sales, so I guess I will have to visit much more often to try my luck.
The outlet offers a wide range of brands from Nike, Ugg, Steve Madden and Nine-West to shoes from top designers like Badgley Mischka and Kate Spade. Inventory is being updated daily and the sales just keep coming. You will find a huge selection of women’s shoes, with smaller selections of both men’s and children’s shoes. They also have an area featuring clothing, handbags and accessories, but my focus was on the shoes.
The well-heeled shoe shopper (pun intended) knows that it’s best to wear a slip-on shoe for convenience, but if you find yourself in tennis shoes and athletic socks, they have boxes of try-on stockings available. I can’t tell you how many shoes I tried in the over two hours I spent there, but I did come home with six pairs of shoes. The grand total for my shopping spree was $96.00.
Feeling very satisfied by my success, but a bit hungry, I followed the signs to Wight-Meyer Winery just ten minutes down the road. I was warmly welcomed and invited to enjoy a wine tasting. While they don’t offer meals, they do have cheese plates and did I mention, wine?
On this beautiful spring day, the covered patio beckoned, so it was time to sit back, relax and revel in my shopper’s euphoria. My thoughts drifted to a t-shirt I had seen recently adorned with little, sparkly rhinestones, which proclaimed “Will work for wine and shoes,” an interesting idea.
Eventually, I snapped back to reality and headed home with my bounty of shoes, a bottle of wine and a plan to make another trip south.
****Join Wine-Oh! Tours by Passport to Adventure and More for a full day of shoes and wine. Our next itinerary will include Zappos, a winery lunch and tasting AND tastings at 2 additional wineries. We can also put together a custom Shoes & Wine tour for your group, whether it is a company, social club or organization or even just a bunch of friends looking for a day of fun. Contact me for more information …Pam@PamsPassport.com.