From start-up to grown-up
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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 about 12,000 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’s International Locations

Germany & Europe

As of december 2016

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  • Berlin

    Headquarters and Outlet

  • Brieselang

    Fulfillment Center

  • Erfurt

    Fulfillment Center

  • Mönchengladbach

    Fulfillment Center

  • Lahr

    Fulfillment Center

  • Dortmund

    Tech Hub

  • Frankfurt

    Outlet

  • Köln

    Outlet

  • Dublin

    Tech Hub

  • Helsinki

    Tech Hub

  • Stradella

    Fulfillment Center (run by provider)

  • Moissy-Cramayel

    Fulfillment Center (run by provider)

  • Gryfino

    Fulfillment Center (run by provider, Start autumn 2017)

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 more than 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

2008-2009

Germany Austria

2010

Netherlands France

2011

Italy United Kingdom Switzerland

2012-2013

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 310,000 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.

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