Kristen Hilderman | June 9, 2014
Read the original article on BCBusiness.ca
Vancouver-based online shoe retailer ShoeMe.ca acquires talent from Coastal Contacts, Zappos and YYoga
When American online shoe company Zappos pulled out of the Canadian market in May 2011, entrepreneur Sean Clark leapt at the opportunity to start his own business and become Canada's major online footwear retailer. “We started the company hoping to pick up where [Zappos] left off, but the difference is that we’re a Canadian solution to a Canadian problem,” says Clark, the company's CEO.
Since launching ShoeMe.ca in January 2012, Clark has grown the company from a startup in his parents' basement to a rapidly expanding business. Today he announced three new appointments at the executive level, bringing on talent from Coastal Contacts, YYoga and Zappos.
Aaron Brown, one of the original senior members of Zappos.com, joins ShoeMe as the vice-president of merchandising, and is expected the facilitate the company’s growth by increasing brand selection and developing new business relationships. “He has all the relationships with the shoe brands and the shoe distributors that I couldn’t get,” says Clark. “It’s very much a people business and having him provides legitimacy to what we’re doing. It also allows us to expand our brand offering very quickly because many, many people have done business with him before at Zappos, and now they’re willing to do business with him again at ShoeMe, in the Canadian market.”
Matt Fraser, whose former roles include COO and president of YYoga, joins ShoeMe as the chief operating officer. In this role, Clark says Fraser will provide expansion expertise for the company's growth plans. “We’ve officially gone from startup to expansion mode. Matt provides the expertise of being able to build the systems and build the team,” says Clark, adding that since joining last month, Fraser has already grown the staff from 30 to 45 people. “He’s really just implementing systems that will enable us to scale the business, and he did this before at YYoga.”
Curtis Peterson, formerly the vice-president of marketing at Coastal Contacts, joins as ShoeMe’s chief marketing officer, with the mandate of driving web traffic and sales. “Curtis is one of the leading, cutting-edge Internet marketers out there. He commanded a budget of $70 million last year at Coastal,” says Clark. “He will be the person that will provide the marketing expertise and deploy the marketing capital in a very efficient and effective way to get more traffic to the website and have that increase in sales.”
When asked if Roger Hardy will be expanding his role with ShoeMe.ca since stepping down from his Clearly Contacts CEO post, Clark laughs and says, “A guy like that without a job doesn’t last long. He’s very active—not only on the board, but he’s an active investor and a trusted adviser. He will be looking to get more involved and we’re lucky to have him.”