Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 18

COVER STORY

'A Retailer

Soul'
WITH

Overstock.com emphasizes corporate responsibility in several of its initiatives, including
its international fair trade site and recently unveiled pet adoption service. BY JIM HARRIS

T

Stormy Simon,
president
www.overstock.com
Salt Lake City

18

he delicate balancing act of continually
improving technology while understanding the evolving needs of both suppliers
and consumers is one of the largest challenges facing online retailers in today's competitive
environment. Overstock.com, founded in 1999, has
stayed true to its history of innovation in the e-commerce world while priding itself on making personal
connections with its partners and customers.
"We are a retailer with soul, and that's one of
the things separating us from others in the online
world," says Stormy Simon, president of the Salt
Lake City-based online shopping giant.
One way the company embraces its soulful side
is by offering artisans and suppliers in developing
regions across the globe a platform within the site to
access potential customers outside of their immediate area. Overstock.com's Worldstock Fair Trade
division, established in 2001, offers handcrafted
items including furniture, home d├ęcor and jewelry

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

January/February 2015

from more than 9,000 artisans in small villages from
more than 50 countries. As part of the program,
the online retailer returns a large percentage of each
item's sale price directly to the artisans or suppliers
to help them reinvest in the economic sustainability
of these emerging regions. A portion of the profits
from Worldstock are donated to charities supporting international humanitarian efforts by bringing
schools, clinics, drinking water and sustainable cottage industries to the communities it sources from.
More than $115 million has been paid out in this
way since the Worldstock program was founded.
"When you buy handmade crafts from Worldstock, you do much more than just shop for unique
gifts, you help people in these countries support
their families, gain dignity and develop their villages while maintaining their ancient cultural traditions," Overstock.com CEO Patrick M. Byrne said
in a statement. "Overstock is proud to pay artisans
or their suppliers double the customary amount


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2015 - 4
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