Business & Industry

Dec 1, 2017


In the internet age, it's possible to purchase almost everything through online channels. From food to appliances, from books to all kinds of gadgets, from cars to holidays abroad and now even clothes, shoes and fashion items.


Founded in 2008, in Berlin, Germany, by Robert Gentz and David Schneider, Zalando is a German electronic commerce company working a cross-platform online store that sells shoes, clothes and other fashion items.

Initially, the company was specialized in the sale of foot ware but, soon, it included other areas of fashion and sports, following the original inspiration on the US online retailer Zappos.

Operations outside Germany began in 2009, when Zalando started offering deliveries to Austria. In 2010 the company launched in the Netherlands and France to which joined the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland, in 2011, and in 2012 it launched in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Spain and Poland.

Since 2013, inspired by the tech companies from the East, especially China, Zalando decided to overhaul its successful online store into a digital platform, remaking itself into a digital shopping mall, allowing fashion houses and retailers to use it for their own sales.

The operations core is conducted from Germany and, even though some critics stated that the company was digging itself an early grave, Zalando's firmly believed that it could only optimize its business operations by taking care of the management itself.

With internet technologies in the heart of their operation, the company, currently, employs over 1000 IT-workers alone in the countries with location advantages such as Ireland (Dublin) and Finland (Helsinki).

They gain their competitive advantage through their generous shipping and return policies, which come at no additional costs while promising a speedy delivery of the ordered items. Additionally, 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 90 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.

The company is proud to showcase Europe's largest selection of clothing, shoes and accessories, representing over 1500 brands for men, women and kids. Zalando claims it's the most complete and safe way to create a perfect wardrobe.

But Zalando's history is not all made of success. The company's figures show that the digital platform was accumulating losses since its foundation, until 2014 when finally, they showed some profit. This was much due to the entry on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The most important cost factors for Zalando are fulfilment costs and marketing costs, both taking up 50% of total revenues alone without the costs of sales included (marketing costs for itself fixed at 25% in 2010).

Plus, the company faced some controversy too, as the German newspaper Bild reported, in 2013, that Zalando received around 3.3 million euro between 2007 and 2012, in subsidies from regional development programs of the European Union.

Already in 2012, German TV channel ZDF broadcast a report on the packing and distribution centre operated for Zalando, where they showed appalling conditions for the workers.

The report showed that the workers were not allowed to sit down during their working day, they were continuously subject to scrutiny and their workspace was extremely confined.

Contacts * * Tel: +49 (0)30 2096 81 484

More Articles


  • AdobeStock_112601508

    Research & Education

    Jun 1, 2017

    Bicycle trails that shine Bicycle trails that shine

    Until relatively recently the materials that glow in the dark had no further functions beyond decorative pleasure. But the luminescence has been conquering more utilitarian applications and today, literally, it is in the streets.


  • Sony005


    Apr 1, 2017


    Do you remember when the live recording and broadcasting goggles were a novelty? Well, you can forget that obsolete technology. Sony has patented contact lenses capable of recording videos controlled solely by the blink of an eye,...

  • product-alt-benefits-3pp

    Food & Beverage

    Aug 1, 2017


    We all know those days when time seems to be too short. When we run out of a business meeting, already late for the next one. And there is no time to have a proper meal between meetings.

  • Li-HongBo-Klein-Sun-AM-41

    Culture & Art

    Apr 1, 2017


    Malleable as a breakdance dancer is the appearance of Michelangelo's bust in the work "Tools of study", by the Chinese artist Li Hongbo, made with only paper and glue. They are paper sculptures, but with the particularity of being...

  • Depositphotos_87744168_xl-2015

    Business & Industry

    May 26, 2018


    Even though under different shapes and materials, money is in Mankind's History for the last 3000 years. One unavoidable reality for a consumption society we see is gaining speed each and every day

  • pele

    Helthcare & Wellness

    May 16, 2018


    Sun protection is the single most important thing you can do at any age to keep skin healthy



    Feb 29, 2016

    Taking Perfection Farther

    Tip, point, vertex, summit or peak are some of the words that mean Apex. In golf, this term represents excellence and unrivalled performance. Taking this very seriously, the Callaway Golf Company created the Apex Pro Irons, defined as...

  • Technology

    Mar 1, 2015

    Go anywhere on Earth and above

    The British company Reaction Engines is developing a commercial space plane called "Skylon" and the new airship is drawing attention from everywhere. Even from the European Space Agency.

  • _DSC7717_dictionary

    Luxury & Fashion

    Apr 1, 2016

    Walk with Style and Elegance

    Used ancestrally by hunters, walking sticks are indispensable for those who need a daily or a hiking support, but they are also useful for authors, poets, writers or simply to complete the wardrobe with a style accessory, at least, that...