Zappos, the Las Vegas-based online retailer, is projecting a big increase in profits for 2015.
The downtown-headquartered retailer projects an operating profit of $97 million this year — 77.9 percent jump from the $54.5 million in profits in 2014.
Exactly how the company will accomplish that goal wasn’t mentioned, however.
Zappos employees learned the financials during the retailer’s quarterly meeting Wednesday afternoon, which is dubbed the All Hands meeting.
The 2014 operating profits of $54.5 were $4.5 million more than the $50 million projected for last year, according to information presented at the meeting staged at the Cashman Center theater.
As usual, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh had some surprises for his workforce at the All Hands meeting.
Humor is always part of the quarterly meetings, and Wednesday’s gathering was no different.
Zappos showed a video depicting a buffalo replica with a Go Pro camera attached to its head being pushed into a company elevator and startling people.
One of the elevator workers stunned by the buffalo was employee Ryo Zsun, who just happened to win an award Wednesday for donating 46 holiday hours to help customers.
While Zsun was onstage Wednesday being honored, the buffalo was lowered from the theater ceiling — and Zsun was startled again, to the delight of the hundreds of employees in the audience.
Zappos’ flex time program, which allows workers to have more flexibility in their work schedules, also received some attention.
On a video, two workers talked about how Zappos’ flex time improved their lives. Then Hsieh showed another video with another testimonial from celebrity model Tyra Banks, who said she uses the Hsieh-endorsed flex time approach at her beauty company.
Banks described Hsieh as a mentor and friend.
The meeting included recognizing seven employees from three different departments who won a $50,000 prize for creating a two-minute video promoting Zappos entitled, “I’m Not a Box.” The video shows a box arriving at a family’s home and the shoes inside for a 2-year-old girl to show that Zappos is not just an online retailer.
Jason Menard, one of the seven employees who got together at an All Hands meeting about three months ago, said he came up with the video idea because his 19-month-old daughter, Basil, was reading a book titled, “I’m Not a Box.”
The two-minute video was boiled down to a 30-second television spot that played during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day TV shows. The seven included Lucas Hazle, a Zappos studio manager who supplied the technical expertise for the video, said Kelly Smith, who was part of the group. So, instead of paying an ad agency for a TV commercial, Hsieh relied on his talented employees.
“He’s a genius,” Smith said.
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