Zappos calls again in 2002 #171

Zappos calls again in 2002 #171

Zappos calls again in 2002

Blog #170 I talked about how my Target journey begins in Milpitas. In this blog I want to talk about when Zappos calls again in 2002.




1 ½ years later Fred calls me again in 2002. We had a nice chat and he said they really needed someone with women’s footwear experience. He mentioned they had doubled their business every year and were trending to do it again in 2002. I told him I would make the move if it were just me but had a family to consider. My wife didn’t have a comfort level of me working for a start-up type business, because a lot of them failed in the Bay Area. I was more of a risk taker but at the same time respected her wishes. I had to decline again. We left it on good terms though, because he said he’d ask me again next year.


Eileen & Aaron


Meanwhile Aaron gets invited to a birthday party for one of Freds sons. After several glasses of gin he gets put on the couch next to Tony. Aaron didn’t know who Tony was at the time but answered a lot of Tony’s questions about shoes and E-Commerce. 2 days later he gets an offer from Fred/Tony. While he was happy where he was Aaron calls me for some advice. I told him I’d do it for sure if I could. Aaron gives a 3 week notice. Fred asks Aaron who would be good for better end designer type brands and Aaron suggests Eileen. She joins soon after. Zappos was hiring and he should check them out. That’s where I’d go, if I could, I told him. He calls Eileen and not too long after joins them as well.


Feeling a little jealous of both of them I was happy at the same time. I really liked both of them and felt it was a great move on their part. Good news was I had two more people I cared for and respected to reach out to if I needed to. My level of contentment was ok at best in this stage of my Target career, Long hours and dirty work a lot of the time. The customers in Milpitas were very confrontational and there was a lot of theft to deal with. There was usually empty DVD containers found in odd parts of the store and we would have to figure out how it was done. Sometimes we would catch the thieves in the act which was always fun.


Back to Target


Most of our day was to walk the floor of our department and make sure everything was full. If we had time we would help out the other areas as well. We all worked well together so it was never a problem. Sometimes we would have floor resets which usually happened after 10PM. There would be a Palo-Gram which told us exactly how we had to do it. This insured all the stores to have the same look. 




George who was the main reason I stuck it out asked me to attend a regional meeting. The meeting was about how to improve customer service. Of course I arrived early and there were people from all over the Bay Area in attendance. They asked me to attend because of my Nordstrom Background. When asked what Target could do to improve the service I suggested More people on the floor to help the customers find what they were looking for. They looked at me like I had two heads.


“No, we mean what can we do without spending any extra money.” With my Nordstrom background, I explained why the service was so great at Nordstrom. It was about an experience there. People were approached right away. To pull that off you need enough people around to do that. It was rare to even see one person per department at Target. Clean floors was the focus at Target and for the most part that was handled properly. Everyone had a walkie talkie to communicate so it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great.


The consensus was to try to motivate people to work harder at giving better service. You mean like more incentives or compensation? That’s what motivates people. I remember in all my retail jobs of the past if salespeople opened a Credit account they would earn a little extra. Well not exactly was the response. We think by giving out “Good Job” cards when people do something right, that will be enough motivation. Good luck with that, was my first thought.


The people


The people in our store were all good people for the most part. I enjoyed working with all of them. They all had different backgrounds and life stories so it was interesting to work with them all. I thought George did a great job of keeping people motivated just by the way he treated everyone. Recognition from him was pretty frequent which kept every bodies spirits up.  Not sure if a “Good Job” card would move it forward much but that’s what we had to do, so I did it.




My calls to my father were more frequent being he worked at Sears which was similar. He always knew had to make me feel better and how to have a positive outlook on things. He thought the Zappos thing was interesting and to give it some thought still. For now I needed to focus on my family and learning this ETL position.

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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