St. Louis Business Journal’s “Fast 50” For 2019: ZQUARED
January 15, 2020
• 2018 revenue: $31.4 million
• 2016-2018 change: 161.67%
When brothers Zach and Chad Cornett founded Advantage Nutrition in Chad’s basement in 2010, they envisioned a brick-and-mortar retail company. That plan changed quickly when they saw the way online retail was taking off.
“We realized that online ‘e-tail’ was blowing up like crazy, and specifically on Amazon,” said CEO Zach Cornett. “So as that further developed, we realized the best play was honestly just to sell on Amazon.”
“A lot of companies were having a lot of issues, particularly controlling their price on Amazon and in the e-commerce space,” he said. “What you had was a lot of great brands that were selling awesome products to a lot of different people.” With so many reseller relationships, many brands couldn’t keep up with how their products were being priced and sold.
So in 2012, the brothers pivoted their model to focus on helping brands with those challenges, working as a
retailer for other businesses on Amazon. The company grew rapidly, and in 2017, the Cornetts changed its name to ZQUARED. Its services range from basic consulting to full-scale warehousing and logistics management for its clients’ Amazon accounts.
Since 2016, ZQUARED has grown revenue by more than 160%. It broke $31 million last year and is on track to reach $38 million in 2019. Zach Cornett attributes ZQUARED’s rapid growth partly to finding the right niche at the right time and partly to the caliber of service the business offers.
“We’re able to pinpoint and relay problems to our brands, who recognize the value of this service very quickly.” he said. “We’ve been able to stand out in a very crowded space on Amazon as an industry leader for what we do, and it’s kind of snowballed on us.”
ZQUARED has moved three times since leaving its original spot in the basement, doubling its footprint with each move and growing to a full-time staff of 15. Since 2017, the company has operated out of a 15,000-square-foot warehouse in St. Peters where it serves nearly 50 brands from all over the U.S.
Growth is expected to continue rapidly. The Cornetts plan to invest heavily in technology for scaling up the business, and to add new staff to manage brands that will come online in the years ahead.
Original story in the St. Louis Business Journal.