Feeds

Amazon acquires online shoe fetishist

'Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree...'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Amazon today announced that it would acquire shoes, clothing, bags, and accessories etailer Zappos.com in a stock-swap deal that will total approximately $847m.

Although the deal is being widely reported as an acquisition, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh doesn't see it exactly that way. In an extensive letter to his employees on the Zappos blog, Hsieh explained:

Over the next few days, you will probably read headlines that say "Amazon acquires Zappos" or "Zappos sells to Amazon". While those headlines are technically correct, they don't really properly convey the spirit of the transaction. (I personally would prefer the headline "Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree...")

Translated into non-Zappos-speak, what Hsieh means is that Zappos, though wholly owned by Amazon, will continue as a separate, independent division, retaining its current management and employees, along with its current headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As Hsieh put it in a canned joint Amazon/Zappos statement, "We will continue to build the Zappos brand and culture in our own unique way."

In the same statement, head Amazonian Jeff Bezos said, "We see great opportunities for both companies to learn from each other and create even better experiences for our customers."

Bezos also taped a video for Hsieh to provide to Zappos employees who might be worried about being displaced or made irrelevant in the acquisition. In the video, Bezos mirrors Zappos.com's custom-centric culture, saying "When given the choice of obsessing over competitors or obsessing over customers, we always obsess over customers."

What Bezos will no longer be obsessing over is Amazon's own shoes-and-bags online marketplace, Endless.com, which it quietly launched in December 2006 and which now has been made redundant.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will provide the 100-plus Zappos shareholders and investors with approximately 10 million shares of Amazon common stock worth about $807 million in exchange for their existing Zappos shares. Amazon will also provide Zappos employees with $40 million in cash and restricted stock units.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fall of this year. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.