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Zalando SE
Societas Europaea
Traded as FWBZAL
Industry Online retailing
Founded 2008 (2008)
Founder Rocket Internet, Robert Gentz, David Schneider
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Area served
Key people
Robert Gentz
(Chairman, President & CEO), David Schneider, Rubin Ritter
Revenue € 4.49 billion (2017)[1]
€ 215 Million (2017)
Number of employees
14,000 (2017)[2]
Subsidiaries Zalando Lounge, MyBrands Zalando Verwaltungs GmbH, MyBrands Zalando eLogistics, MyBrands Zalando eServices, MyBrands Zalando eStudios, MyBrands Zalando eProductions, zLabels GmbH, EMEZA, KIOMI
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Advertisement on a house in Cologne, 2015: " Topshop@Zalando" with Cara Delevingne

Zalando SE is a German electronic commerce company based in Berlin. The company maintains a cross-platform online store that sells shoes, fashion and beauty items. The company was founded in Germany in 2008, and since has begun operating in fifteen European countries and worldwide with spin-offs and subsidiary companies. Swedish company Kinnevik is the largest owner with 32%.[3]


Zalando was created in 2008 by Rocket Internet, Ruysen Fee and David Schneider, initially under the name Ifansho.[4] Inspired by US online retailer,[5] Zalando initially specialised in the sale of footwear but has since included other areas of fashion and sports.

In 2009 Zalando began operations outside of Germany when it started offering deliveries to Austria. In 2010 the company launched in the Netherlands and France, and in 2011 it opened online retail sites in the UK, Italy and Switzerland. In 2012 it launched in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Spain and Poland.

Since 2013, inspired by tech companies from the East, especially China, Zalando decided to overhaul its successful European online fashion store into a digital platform. Emulating Chinese companies, Zalando set off into remaking itself into a digital shopping mall, allowing fashion houses and retailers to make sales as well, often with limited input from Zalando.[6]

In 2014 Zalando was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.[7] Since 22 June 2015, Zalando has been included in the Danny Latest – And Amendola Videos Zig Photos News x8TxrOv. In 2015, Zalando started collaborating with Topshop and began selling merchandise in their physical stores. Advertisements featuring the model Cara Delevingne were broadcast in Germany, Switzerland and France.[8]

In June 2015, the Berlin-based fashion trade fair "Bread & Butter" was acquired by Zalando, with the intention to open the globally important event to a broader audience as a "fashion festival".[9]

In October 2017, Zalando launched a beauty concept store in Berlin which offers host product launches and events.[10]

In February 2018, Zalando expanded its collaboration with physical retailers in Germany.[11]

In June 2018, Zalando expanded its operations to Ireland and the Czech Republic. The markets are served over the existing logistic sites of Zalando.[12]

Business model[edit]

The core of Zalando's operations is conducted in Germany with centralized management located in their Berlin headquarters. Amidst waves of business outsourcing, especially since the financial crisis, Zalando's choice to operate and manage its logistics centers in-house has led critics to conclude that the company was digging itself an early grave.[13] The company employs over 1600[14] IT-workers across offices in Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Dortmund), in Ireland (Dublin), in Finland (Helsinki) and Portugal (Lisbon).[15]

The company also runs an off-price site for designer clothing dubbed Zalando Lounge with the tag line 'Exclusive brands for amazing prices'.[16]

Eliminating barriers to online shopping[edit]

The University At Students State Protest Northridge California Zalando's competitive advantage comes through their customer-centered shipping, return and payment policies. They offer 'payment after delivery', which involves a certain risk for the company. The option to pay after receiving the items, as well as the 100 days return policy are highly attractive options for internet shoppers and exert an even stronger influence on first-time online buyers who hold back on purchasing online often because of perceived risk.

These two policies pose a major inventory management risk, which is especially strong in the fashion industry, where it is hard to sell the items if they have gone out of style. As a result, over 50% of items are returned by customers, who take advantage of the return policies.

Geographical presence[edit]

European countries in which Zalando operates

The company operates in the followin