Following on the heels of the biggest growth period in ecommerce history, 2021 was a year of tremendous momentum, creative thinking, and persevering through challenges. For our Spreetail teams, this meant hyper-focusing on optimizing our systems, investing in our teams, and expanding our fulfillment network to delight the millions of customers we were able to serve this year. We feel fortunate to be a part of this rapidly evolving industry and are grateful for the opportunities in 2021 to give back to our communities that are the foundation of our success.
Reaching our customers no matter where they reside is a key pillar that drives our work. This year, we successfully launched our 7th fulfillment center in Tacoma, Washington, serving our customers in the Pacific Northwest with next-day delivery. This is just the start. We will be heavily focused on fulfillment center expansions in the years to come as we honor our shipping commitment throughout the country.
Ecommerce is worldwide, and we at Spreetail are too. We launched our Cross-border Business Development Team this year, with Spreetailers on the ground in China working relentlessly to establish us as a key player internationally. Our Channels Team not only expanded our assortment with our Canadian partners but is also collaborating with our Supply Chain team to establish a physical presence in Canada as we plan to launch a fulfillment center here in 2022. Another exciting step in Spreetail's globalization is the hiring of our European CEO, Mehmet Kalay. Since Mehmet became a Spreetailer, he has built a team of experts, done extensive research on finding Spreetail a home in Europe, and is putting the plans in place to fully launch in 2022 and serve our customers around the world.
Along with our location expansions, our teams have been pursuing new opportunities to reach our customers no matter where they are shopping online. Spreetail launched on five additional channels this year including Best Buy, Kohl’s, Kroger, Overstock, and Sears. These join the other 15+ channels we already partner with, providing our vendor partners with the highest level of reach for their products and our customers the variability they are looking for. Our position as a key seller across each of our channels gives us confidence for continuous success and growth into 2022.
We have seen monumental investments in our technology, supply chain, channel, advertising, content, and talent acquisition sectors in 2021. Each investment our team makes brings more opportunities to our vendor partners, customers, and teammates for continued growth and accomplishments.
Our Software & Technology Team created our Vendor Portal, providing our vendor partners with a multitude of opportunities to understand how we are partnering with them to accelerate their brand across channels. We have received a lot of positive feedback from our vendor partners surrounding our ability to sell across channels, execute nationwide fulfillment, and participate in high-touch, high-value marketplace programs as a result of launching the vendor portal.
Not only are our technology teams creating amazing new platforms, but they are also managing our current platforms extremely well. During some of our busiest seasons in 2021, we saw little to no outages or technology issues, ensuring our customers and teams were served continuously. Technology is integral to Spreetail’s growth and success, and the dedication these teams have shown has been top-notch.
Our vendor-facing teams are continuing to dive deep into how we collaborate with our new vendor partners from day zero to create a strong and sustainable partnership. Our Business Development, Acceleration, and Vendor Management Teams are sweating the details to ensure each vendor partner is set up for long-term success. Our Retail Operations and Advertising teams are optimizing listings, securing homepage product placements, running specialized advertisements, and making sure our products are showing up front and center on each of our channels. Our Inventory and Supply Chain teams are working together to get customers their products as quickly as possible amid the ever-changing supply chain environment. These optimizations and continuous improvements will ensure success for our channel partners, vendor partners, and customers.
We feel very fortunate to have been in a position to grow our team throughout 2021 and are excited about the new opportunities so many Spreetailers were able to pursue. We completed over 750 hours of onboarding for new employees, facilitated 230 internal moves, and graduated 250 Spreetailers from our various leadership development programs.
Our Inclusion Networks completed their first full year and saw amazing engagement from Spreetailers and our communities. Spreetail is a workplace where every single person has the right and ability to succeed, and through our Inclusion Networks we were able to continue to interact, support, and learn from our diverse community. The Spreetail Professionals of Color, Spreetail Pride Alliance, and Spreetail Professional Women Rising had a huge positive impact on our community and are going to continue to grow and expand on their successes into 2022 and beyond.
Throughout 2021, we had some amazing opportunities to grow and recognize our team. A few of these highlights include:
- Hiring key leaders in the ecommerce industry that have jumped into the business head-on and are already making great strides
- Winning nationally renowned awards for our candidate experience and training and development initiatives
- Expanding our Software & Technology teams to allow them to go fully remote, opening the opportunity to hire talent in six states
We are proud and thankful for the opportunities we were able to provide our teams this year and look forward to the continued success that 2022 will bring.
Giving back to our communities that have given so much to us is in our DNA. We recognize the many hardships our communities have been through in the last two years and are working hard to ease these burdens. Our teams have shown up this year in more ways than one and have had a tremendous impact on the people closest to us.
One of the greatest impacts our team made this past year was through our New Beginnings Program. The New Beginnings program has been a part of Spreetail's core giving initiative since launching in Lincoln, Nebraska to support community members who don’t have access to one of the most essential items – a bed. In 2021, we were able to secure a great partnership with Heartland Family Services in Omaha, Nebraska leading to over 200 beds being distributed in the last half of the year. In 2022, we are working to expand New Beginnings into our other Spreetail communities, with hopes of impacting hundreds of families across the country by turning an empty house into a home.
During our bi-annual Volunteer Week in October, 700+ team members across every Spreetail location donated nearly 500 hours of time and energy to make an impact in our communities. From packing meals at local food banks, to creating goodie bags for healthcare workers, to over 600 miles being walked/run leading to a $6000+ donation to nonprofits supporting breast cancer survivors in all our locations - our teams showed up for each other and our communities.
Whether it was through volunteering, utilizing our donation match program to submit a monetary gift to a nonprofit, or simply writing a note to a friend in need, our teams made a huge impact this year - a testament to their generosity and dedication in making a difference in our communities.
Looking back, 2021 was a year of great momentum, overcoming challenges, growing our team and processes, and learning. We expect even more growth in 2022 as we continue to focus on building the best ecommerce team and culture for success. We would love you to be a part of our growing team. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow us on social media, check out our website, and browse the opportunities we have available today.
Looking forward, we keep our eyes set on our vision “To accelerate vendors and channels to compete for tomorrow’s ecommerce customer.” We remain committed to enhancing the shopping experience for our customers, growing our relationships with our vendor partners, providing the best environment for growth and success for our teammates, and supporting the communities we live and work in. Thank you for your continued support, partnership, and encouragement as we round out 2021 and prepare for a prosperous 2022.