After years of dealing with customers electronically over the phone or computer, Zappos once again has a physical presence in its hometown of Las Vegas.
For a couple of months at least.
While there's no physical merchandise in the store, or even shelves, the pop-up shop allows customers to get personal service and face time from Zappos staff, said Joel Grande, manager of events and sponsorship development for Zappos.com. In recent years, that's only been possible by telephone, email or computer chat for the fashion retailer that built a billion dollar online enterprise. Zappos had outlet stores in Las Vegas several years ago but closed them. The only other physical outlet is a store near its distribution center in Kentucky.
Upon strolling into the one-room store, customers are greeted by a Zappos employee, who describes the company to newbies. They'll walk people through their online options, via iPad units situated around the store.
“The purpose is not to sell merchandise out of the store but to be an extension of the Zappos experience outside the home,” Grande said. “Not everybody is Zappos customers, or even know who we are, so it’s an opportunity to catch the attention of new customers and explain what we do.”
Clothing displays hang from backdrops as wall art, depicting different fashion personas.
“That space is usually reserved for art displays, so we were kind of hoping to show off what we do in an artistic way,” Grande said.
The temporary shop is located on the third floor of the resort, designed to help Zappos catch traffic between the ultra-hip spots such as the Marquee Dayclub and Nightclub and STK steakhouse.
It's open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily until Nov. 3.
“People at the Cosmopolitan are definitely fashion forward and fashion conscience, so we were hoping for the opportunity to draw some of those customers in and show what we can do for them” Grande said.
Displays around the Cosmopolitan casino, meanwhile, are designed to promote Zappos as more than a place to buy shoes, showing purses, watches, and even home appliances, as the company continues to expand its offerings, Grande said.
The store will also host events including product launches, chances to meet designers and book signings by CEO Tony Hsieh.
Zappos is trying to draw new customers by giving gift certificates, merchandise and even cash to players signing up for the Cosmopolitan Identity rewards, Grande said. Card holders will get the chance to win Zappos gift cards throughout the month by racking up points on slots, table games and video poker. That will lead up to two $10,000 drawings during the final day of the promotion on Nov. 3. More information is available at the Identity desks on the casino floor. Membership is free for people ages 21 and older.
New members get a $15 gift certificate, which they can immediately redeem at the casino cashier and use for the next 30 days to make a purchase on their computer or in person at the pop-up store.