Our roots – our destination
Back in 2008, Zalando started out with a simple idea: a convenient and simple way to buy shoes online. The company’s founders, David and Robert, spent a long time looking around and speaking to customers in shoe stores. They discovered that customers generally look for the same thing: an up-to-date assortment with all the relevant brands and a large selection of shoes in all sizes, colors and styles -
a combination that brick-and-mortar retailers could hardly provide. An online store, in turn, could offer consumers across the globe access to the same assortment with an unprecedented choice of products. But it was one realization that defined what David and Robert set out to do: that shopping fashion and shoes is, above all, an emotional event. It is the emotional experience that turns clothes into your new favorite outfit, with the first impression being just as important as a detailed presentation.
That’s why it was clear from the start that the Zalando store would focus on a high-quality, professional and consistent product presentation. A clear focus on our customers was and continues to be the foundation of Zalando’s offering and the reason why the company today serves millions of customers across Europe. The formula for success was developed early on:
Starting out in a shared apartment in Berlin’s Torstraße that served as an office and warehouse, the founders added one piece after the other to create Europe’s all-round fashion provider. To set-up core processes, Robert and David convinced Rubin to join Zalando in 2010. Key focus areas in the set-up process included a high-performance technology platform tailored to the specific needs of the fashion industry
and individual customer preferences as well as a buying team well-versed in selecting the right assortment. These key strengths are complemented by Zalando’s logistics resources, with its warehouses located such that approximately 85% of our active customers live within a nine-hour truck drive. Within just a few years, Zalando became a leading player in the European e-Commerce scene:
Today Zalando employs more than 11,000 people from all parts of the world. The company is set up in the form of a European company – Zalando SE – under the management of Robert, David and Rubin. The company’s fashion buyers regularly browse the world’s major international fashion trade fairs and have built up close partnerships with those global brands that are relevant for our customers.
Zalando International Locations
Germany & Europe
State August 2016
Headquarters and Outlet
Fulfillment Center (start in autumn 2016)
Fulfillment Center (run by provider)
But in-house fashion designs also play an increasingly important role. In the course of a few years, our private labels have gathered loyal fan bases across Europe. Every day, the zLabels designers are working on new ideas for the fashion trends of the future and Zalando has become one of the largest employers in Berlin’s fashion industry. Over the past few years,
Zalando’s technology team has evolved into a strong unit with about 1,600 tech experts. Employees from more than 100 countries ensure the smooth operation of Zalando’s platforms – from the visible parts of the store to back-office processes. The entire platform is a proprietary development whose core functions are independent of service providers.
Zalandos footprint across Europe
Italy United Kingdom Switzerland
Sweden Belgium Spain Denmark Finland Poland Norway Luxembourg
Inside Zalando’s online store, customers can view high-quality photos and extensive product descriptions for about 200,000 products each season. In addition, the company has insourced key logistics expertise over the past few years. After their full build-out, Zalando’s strong logistics infrastructure with three distribution centers in Germany will cover more than 290,000 sqm ensuring smooth shipments of Zalando parcels
to destinations in 15 European countries. Zalando’s customer care unit together with external service providers handles all pre- and post-order inquiries by telephone or e-mail. In the digital era, if you don't go forward, you go backwards – this is a Zalando mantra. Our customers place high demands on our business. Zalando stands ready and looks forward to continuing to shape this exciting industry.