Chad Weinman, CEO
by Matthew Hibbard
St. Louis Business Journal
Chad Weinman was destined to work in his family defense contractor business.
His father has operated Propper International, a manufacturer of military and law enforcement tactical clothing in Weldon Spring since 1974. Weinman chose not to go down that route at first, but instead took a job as an IT consultant for accounting firm Mueller Prost PC in Clayton.
Weinman returned to his family roots in 2004, putting his knowledge of software development to use to launch BDU.COM, a website that sold tactical clothing and gear. The site set the foundation for Cat5 Commerce, an online retail company that has grown from about $11 million in revenue in 2011 to $25 million in 2013.
Cat5 Commerce has invested about $1 million in domain names since its beginning and has invested millions more in their technology platform, Weinman said.
In 2011, Cat5 Commerce purchased RunningShoes.com for $700,000 from a brick-and-mortar running specialty store in Bellingham, Wash. Jeanette Kozlowski, manager at Cat5, said Weinman was competing with Sports Authority for the website.
“Chad flew out to the Pacific Northwest and made a surprise visit to that store,” she said. “Because Chad made that face-to-face meeting happen, we were able to enter the athletic shoe market.”