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In September 2000, Christian Friedland and David Boctor were working on their Computer Science master’s project at California State University, Chico.[1][2] At the time, Friedland was employed at a local plumbing distributor and felt he could give customers access to a better selection of plumbing fixtures made available online. He and Boctor created an easy-to-browse online format and soon was launched and operated out of Friedland’s college apartment.

In 2005, the company changed its name to, and in 2010, it launched as its new brand name.

About the company[edit] employs approximately 390 people (at December 2013), and is a subsidiary of Wolseley (builders' merchant).[3]

The achievements and business models[4][5] of have caught the attention of Internet Retailer Magazine (considered an authority in the online retail space), which has featured many of’s executive team members in a number of its articles.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Since 2007, has been named to Internet Retailer Magazine’s annual Top 500 List of online retailers:

  • 2007—No. 165
  • 2008—No. 148
  • 2009—No. 127
  • 2010—No. 97
  • 2011—No. 80
  • 2012—No. 81[16]


  1. ^ Meredith Cooper. "DIY Webmaster: Improvement Direct's Chris Friedland takes on Home Depot and Lowe's", "News & Review", 22 February 2007. Retrieved on 2010-10-7.
  2. ^ Laura Urseny. "Chico home-improvement Internet retailer is building on success", "Chico Enterprise-Record", 20 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-6-20.
  3. ^ Chico News and Review."Chico Internet success sold", "News & Review", 26 April 2007. Retrieved on 2007-4-26.
  4. ^ Lara Sasken."Improvement Direct Building Up Business Using Tealeaf", "Tealeaf", 6 November 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-6.
  5. ^ Raymund Flandez."Three Best Ways to Convert Web Traffic Into Sales", "The Wall Street Journal", 4 September 2009. Retrieved on 2009-9-4.
  6. ^ Mark Brohan."Improvement Direct remodels corporate site to capture shoppers", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 5 December 2007. Retrieved on 2007-12-5.
  7. ^ Bill Briggs. "Improvement Direct finds a home for new bid management system", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 30 January 2008. Retrieved on 2008-1-30.
  8. ^ Paul Demery. "How Improvement Direct builds a better return on search advertising", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 2 April 2008. Retrieved on 2008-4-2.
  9. ^ Katie Deatsch. "Improvement Direct lands a new vice president of marketing", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 13 April 2009. Retrieved on 2009-4-13.
  10. ^ Katie Deatsch. "How to get noticed by search engines the natural way", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 16 June 2009. Retrieved on 2009-6-16.
  11. ^ Internet Retailer. "Free is good, but not always best", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 11 June 2010. Retrieved on 2010-6-11.
  12. ^ Katie Deatsch. "How Improvement Direct improved average order value with A/B tests", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 26 June 2009. Retrieved on 2009-6-26.
  13. ^ Zak Stambor. "Adding personalized recommendations boosts's conversion rates 23.1%", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 29 July 2010. Retrieved on 2010-7-29.
  14. ^ Allison Enright. After a rocky start, constructs an expanded live chat service", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 23 September 2010. Retrieved on 2010-9-23.
  15. ^ Katie Deatsch. "Hunting and Gathering", "Internet Retailer Magazine", 1 November 2010. Retrieved on 2010-11-1.
  16. ^ Internet Retailer. ( "Top 500 Guide"], "Internet Retailer", 14 May 2012. Retrieved on 2012-5-14.

External links[edit]