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Zappos gets serious about domestics

Plans to pick up the pace on bath, bedding and baby

Retail Editor 4 -- Home Textiles Today, March 11, 2013

Plans to pick up the pace on bath, bedding and baby
Henderson, Nev. - Online retailer Zappos has been selling bedding and bath for nearly five years, but in 2013 it plans to really make headway in both categories, and its buyers are coming to New York Home Fashions Market looking for brands and fashion.
Zappos calls its core customer "the Happy Hunter." She's focused on brands and quality, said Robert Pearce, who launched the home business and now is buyer for kitchen electrics and cookware.
At the moment, the site carries more bedding than bath, with design tilting heavily toward solid color. That is soon to change.
"We're looking for more patterns," said Angela Trevino, buyer for bed, bath and tabletop. "We want to refresh fashion two to three times a year."
Zappos warehouses all inventory to meet its pledge of free shipping, she said. "That's so we can control the customer experience."
While this will be Trevino's first visit to the New York market, it will be the third visit for Zappos as a company. The team has also recently been in the Las Vegas, Dallas and Los Angeles markets looking for product.
In New York, the priority list is bath, bath accessories and bedding - also with an eye out for infant/baby bedding.
"We definitely have an opportunity in shower curtains," said Trevino, who added Zappos is on the hunt for bath accessories that are "cool, unique."
In terms of bedding, Zappos prefers basic duvet sets or comforter sets. Bed-in-a-bag isn't on the agenda at the moment.
"Our customer likes to make their own decisions, to mix-and-match," said Trevino.
Thus far, Zappos hasn't really delved into fashion accessories such as dec pillows and window. "We're still very edited," she said. But merchants expect eventually to develop a template that will cement items across individual categories. To that end, said Trevino, buyers will be looking for fashion elements that can work in either the bedroom or the living room.