Zalando's roots and current corporate headquarters are located in Berlin. To be able to take advantage of tangible opportunities for growth, we have had to invest heavily in the development of skills, technologies, structures and processes at an early stage. To this end, approximately 10.6 million euro of funding has so far been granted throughout the state of Berlin from GRW funds (funds from the Gemeinschaftsaufgabe Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur – joint task for the improvement of regional economic structures). The GRW funding includes investment and wage subsidies that are simultaneously coupled with the establishment of a specific number of permanent jobs.
Zalando has not only reached the defined objectives – it has exceeded them by a clear margin. To date, more than 600 jobs have been created at our site in Berlin through the help of funding. More than 70 percent of the employees in Berlin who formed part of the funding applications are still at Zalando. Of these, almost 90 percent are permanently employed. At the Berlin site, Zalando now employs more than 5,000 employees and is one of the largest private employers in the state of Berlin.
Logistics constitutes one of the central corporate divisions of Zalando. Since 2011, we have extended our logicstics network step by step, that is about 6,000 new jobs only in Germany. Over the course of the development of our own logistics division, we have applied for 2.5 million euro of funding for the center in Brieselang. For the first construction phase of the center in Erfurt, we have also been granted funding of 22.4 million euro, with a planned investment amount of 100 million euro. The awarding of the funds was linked to the creation of 500 jobs in Erfurt and 100 jobs in Brieselang – a condition that we have completely fulfilled.
About 2,800 employees are now employed in Erfurt, and about 1,200 in Brieselang; in both locations, the proportion of employees whose contracts have been extended indefinitely is now over 60 percent. During recruitment, we placed a great deal of emphasis on the employment of long-term unemployed unskilled laborers by working in close cooperation with local employment agencies. Using the funding, we were in a position from the very beginning to create high-quality workplaces, including state-of-the-art production technology and ergonomic layouts capable of preventing physical strain on employees to the greatest extent possible. By establishing itself in economically underdeveloped locations, Zalando has also contributed to improved infrastructure and is therefore in line with the intentions of the GRW funding.