Spokane Journal of Business

Sea change: etailz changes its name to Kaspien

E-commerce company rebrands

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What was a proposal from its marketing department last year has now come to fruition. The Spokane Valley-based e-commerce company has a new name.

Kaspien unveiled its rebranding on its website last week.

CEO Kunal Chopra credited the company’s marketing team with spearheading the effort that involved soliciting company-wide feedback from employees, shareholders, and external partners.

“It came down to a formal vote, so it was a very democratic process,” Chopra says of the name selection that was among a list of other finalists.

Taking a deviation of the name of the world’s largest inland body of water – the Caspian Sea – company officials saw many parallels between the landlocked body of water between Asia and Europe and the five countries that surround it, according to Chopra. 

“The Caspian Sea is a connector, and that’s what we are as a company,” he says.

Chopra, who took over the company in September 2019, says online shopping has exploded in the wake of the arrival of COVID-19.

“We’ve certainly had a very strong Q1, and we anticipate that growth to continue for the rest of 2020,” he says.

The company reported its first quarter revenue at $31.5 million, down from its 2019 first quarter report of $35.1 million. However, this year’s first quarter report doesn’t capture its full performance, according to the report.

In October 2016, TransWorld Entertainment Corp. purchased etailz for $75 million. TransWorld is based in Albany, New York, and earlier this year sold a subsidiary leaving etailz as its sole subsidiary. TransWorld then changed the address for its corporate headquarters to the Sullivan offices.

TransWorld’s first quarter report says COVID-19 impacted the company’s reporting capability.

“The company’s operations are primarily located in New York and Washington and both states imposed statewide lockdown to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report says. “As a consequence, the company’s accounting personnel, who are working remotely, have only limited access to the company’s financial records.”

During the pandemic Kaspien’s employment roster has held steady at 155, consistent with where it was when Chopra arrived as CEO. Next year, however, the company is planning to grow, he says.

“We plan to hire internationally,” Chopra says. “Specifically hiring in Japan and Denmark. We have people on the ground in the U.K. and want to expand in markets abroad.”

Located in 40,000 square feet at 2818 N. Sullivan Road, Kaspien was originally dubbed Green Cupboards upon inception in 2008 before changing its name to etailz.

Kevin Blocker
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