We originally opened in 1998 as The Grill Store & More, an actual brick and mortar store, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Owners Michael and Ladina Hackley started the business from scratch and worked it for the first year by themselves 7 days a week. By 2000, the business had expanded to two stores in Baton Rouge, and a franchise location in New Orleans. We were still looking to expand, but seemed to have tapped the Louisiana market, and so looked to the internet for added revenues.
With our commitment to customer service and product knowledge we quickly became one of the leading websites of outdoor cooking products. As we added more websites catering to niche markets, we decided to reduce our store locations so that we could focus more on our online presence. In 2003 we acquired 16,000 square feet of warehouse space to stock better quantities of current products as well as to expand our product offering to over 15,000 items. As a result of these changes our revenues increased by 400%.
Because our product offering went far beyond grills, we decided to change our official name to ShoppersChoice.com in 2004. A large part of this name change was to build an entirely new site that would have the capacity to become an online superstore that still offered exceptional customer service with over 2 million products. In 2005 Internet Retailer magazine listed us in the top 400 of all websites, and we were ranked as the 7th fastest growing ecommerce site in the United States.
Nowadays we are continuing our growth through partnerships with other companies as well as unique program offerings to our customers. In the last few years, we've worked hard to foster relationships with larger, more recognizable names through which we either directly or indirectly sell our products. Some of our more well known partners are such sites as Amazon, Shop.com, Ebay, and American Express. We have been able to garner the trust of these well known companies through our stellar customer service. Even today, when a customer calls during business hours, they ring right to a real person, with no maze of extension selections to cause confusion and frustration.
The programs we have implemented recently are our Rewards Program, gift registry, price matching program, and live online chat. The Rewards Program made us one of the first retail companies to offer a points value rewards system. With our system, you can sign up to earn points on everything you purchase from us, and ANY of the items that we sell are eligible for point redemptions! So the customer gets what the customer wants as their own reward. With our gift registry, customers can again get exactly what they want, while we keep track of what people select to buy in real time, so duplicate items are not purchased. Live online chat, price matching, as well as automatic requests for customer service call backs are all part of our strides toward better customer service.