on August 30, 2021
Consumers first always, that’s our commitment, and we’ve been saying it for 20 years. This mission began when our founder Brad Wilson, a broke college student, couldn’t believe the outrageous prices at his university bookstore. Thinking there had to be a smarter way, he did the research and found better deals online. While passing out fliers to fellow students in front of the bookstore so they could save money too, Brad had an ‘aha’ moment that sparked our first deal website, Deals Du Jour. Yes, that’s correct, Deals Du Jour was our first name…and a condo in Chicago’s Lincoln Park community housed our first ever headquarters. What started as one grew to five and eventually came to be Brad’s Deals, now located in the River North district with more than 80 employees.
This is the passion that drives Brad’s Deals today–teaching yourself to code to build a website, helping people shop smarter as your civic duty, providing an honest voice to cut through the online chaos. Our North Star remains the same to ‘create the consumer advantage’, and not just with deals. It’s real people, really helping you save money in all areas of your life and sharing advice from day-to-day experiences to protecting you online. Everything we do is backed by our core values:
#1. Consumers first, always. Our relentless commitment to provide value and transparency to consumers is fundamental to who we are, and we nurture that trust every day in every decision we make.
#2. Love what you do. Our tenacious work ethic, competitive spirit, and holistic approach to wellness produces a fun, innovative, healthy, and rewarding environment.
#3. Keep it real. From our brand to our culture, we believe in authenticity, visibility, and honest communication.
#4. Exceptional together. Open collaboration and a commitment to empower consumers drives our passion to create value that only we can deliver.
#5. Challenge the ordinary. We are guided by an entrepreneurial spirit to grow, innovate, be what’s next, and be the best at what we do.
#6. Embrace diversity. In our workplace, in our products, in our views. We are genuinely committed to an environment where unique talents, backgrounds, abilities, and experiences make us better together.
Some things we’re most proud of (plus being 20 years old!)
- Saving consumers money, of course. We might shop a little on the job too, because how couldn’t we! Beyond the excitement of finding the best prices ever, it’s rewarding to get to know our users and hear how we helped them find that hard-to-get gift, budget better for their family, or save on a vacation. It’s all about connection and hearing each other’s stories, which led us to our first podcast, Frugal Living. It’s a fun way to hear interviews and stories about smart savings hacks and financial tips.
- Giving back, and more than just great deals. Community, the common good, helping others–whether it’s through women and youth tech mentorship programs or donating blankets to homeless shelters, it’s an important piece of our culture. We also incorporate giving back into our well-being events like making paracords for our troops, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, or virtual volunteering in 2020 by making chew toys at home for the Anti-Cruelty Society and writing cards for hospitalized kids. A big thank you to our online community that came together in 2017, helping donate to Brad’s Deals Cares Foundation that raised money for Hurricane Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where our other headquarters resides. This reminds us all, ‘Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give.’
- Making ideas happen for women entrepreneurs. Although this is a mentorship program, it’s so much more and deserves its own accolades. Since 2016, with the exception of last year, we have hosted our very own in-house Women’s Tech Accelerator. We choose women-owned startups ripe for growth, and they receive access to our resources, free office space for a year (snacks, lunch-and learns, and events included!) and the ability to collaborate with our employees as subject matter experts. Giving back to help others move forward on their dreams is where we started on that college campus.
- Driving change & honest conversations. Because our differences make us better together, we knew it was our responsibility to reevaluate the driving forces of our core value ’embrace diversity.’ Through that lens, we created Brad’s Mosaic, an employee-led team dedicated to creating a more diverse, equal, and inclusive environment. Our mission challenges us to reduce harm and stand up to injustice. Within our own walls, we’re starting with education, diversity events and celebrations, diversity-focused hiring and processes, and in the products we deliver. We also created our first diversity, equity and inclusion report to remain transparent and help us evolve as a company because we’re not stopping there.
- Advocating for all types of businesses & shoppers. From big to small, we need to be a safe place for businesses to be seen and for consumers to find what they want. We developed our own platform, Axis, that works with small businesses too. As this past year really shed light on the importance of supporting local and underrepresented businesses, we launched our Loving the Locals program. From there, we created the ALL Shop representing local, black-owned, Asian-American-Pacific-Islanders-owned, women-owned, LGTBQ+-owned, eco-friendly, and other diverse businesses. Our goal is to continue growing inclusivity for all shoppers and businesses.
- Our ‘brand’ new look. In 2019, we got a makeover. We want our consumers to have a welcoming, easy, and fun experience. Our new look screams, ‘let’s have conversations with real people and save money!’ Look closely and you’ll see a shopping tag in our apostrophe representing our innovative and unique approach to retail.
- Awards (not in a bragging way, but in a ‘this is a great place to work’ way) These awards really speak to our employees, leadership team, and the service we provide that we all truly believe in. From many local Chicago awards to nationally recognized awards like Best & Brightest to Work, Best & Brightest in Wellness, Great Place to Work, Inspiring Workplaces, and Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies. A pat on the back is always nice, but building a culture employees want to be a part of and a service consumers rely on is what it’s all about.
- Going green…and hey it’s in our logo. We’ve always been intentional about supporting less waste as a company with different things like welcoming new employees with mugs and water bottles, group recycling for old electronics, gifting employees stainless steel straws, beach cleanup volunteering, eliminating plastic plates and utensils, and launching a composting program when we get back to the office. And drum roll please…we are so very proud to announce we are a Carbon Neutral certified company! This means we’re taking action on climate change to reduce our carbon footprint. Since our service impacts shipping pollution, we are supporting efforts to prevent deforestation and emission reduction in the Amazonian Rainforest, one of the world’s most biodiverse habitats. It also aids in sustainable development benefits like no poverty, zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, and protecting endangered species.
- Creating the safest place to shop on Earth. This is our new tagline, and we stand behind it. Every single one of us. Bottom line is you never have to question the integrity of the store, the quality of the deal, or the security of online shopping. We like to say, ‘Add Brad’ for that human touch and peace of mind you’ll only find here.
…And let’s not forget this challenging year.
We all really came together during a time of great uncertainty and unprecedented change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team remained stronger than ever to stay connected and do our part as we all looked for solutions and adjusted to new norms. From protecting shoppers from fraudulent activity, price gouging, and misinformation to covering important topics as it relates to the pandemic, our goal is always to help you navigate smart and safe online shopping.
Saving the best for last–YOU!
To the best consumers around, all of our amazing partners and stores, and our loyal employees–thanks for being our better half! Because of you, we’ve hit milestones, celebrated good times, got through the tough ones, saved money, and became better together. So what’s next? As we pause to celebrate where we’ve been, we’re looking forward to 20 more trips around the sun. Thanks for trusting us to deliver the best savings, and get ready for big things on the horizon.
To some, it’s an anniversary. To us, it’s a big deal-iversary. Thanks for saving with us for 20 years and being a part of the safest place to shop on Earth! Some numbers we think are pretty cool:
- 80+ employees
- 50% female leadership
- 35 company awards since 2013
- 6.9 million consumer visits a month
- $222 million in savings per year
- Over 45,000 of the best deals a year
- 50+ yearly shopping guides
- 125+ money-saving blog posts a year
- 12th year for 60 days of exclusive deals
- 2,500+ Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals a year
- 900 early, Black Friday Values shared last year
- 10 women-owned startups grown through our Tech Accelerator
- 20 years in the making for the safest place to shop on Earth!