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


  • 2014-10-20 14.14.49

    Home & Design

    May 1, 2017


    If you like green, prepare your heart, because the gardens of the future are breathtaking and will be everywhere. From the corner on the porch, to the kitchen, living room, service area, yard and, especially, in the cities and office...

  • 572e1220696469.5631227a8514a

    Mechanics & Locomotion

    Mar 1, 2017


    The United States of America (USA), the country where the number of people who saw amputees one of their members amounted to two million, is the same country that now offers the market a pioneering prosthetic technology that will...

  • jaeger-lecoultre-janek-deskiewicz

    Luxury & Fashion

    Jul 1, 2017


    The history of Polish Janek Deleskiewicz is, nowadays, inseparable from the history of an international icon among brands watches: Jaeger-LeCoultre; and, above all, its most successful model: Reverso.

  • 42-160319-AFRIC-ESIA-070-credit-Deakin-University

    Science & Nature

    Aug 1, 2017


    Revolutionary techniques are reshaping the world in every area and every subject. When we look around, we see all sorts of proposals and gadgets to fulfil the needs we didn't know were needed.

  • 6120ee_380c3a7c8b5b4d3db31ca50125ff7f7b~mv2_d_4657_3264_s_4_2.jpg_srz_1081_758_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz


    Mar 1, 2017


    One could imagine rugby is too much of a physical game, for disabled people to practice. Well, it's the same for kids, and they love it. Disabled people are not flowers and, with the right posture facing life, they can be perfectly...

  • ApisCor_febr_03


    May 1, 2017

    As if by magic

    It looks like a figurative expression: "houses grow like mushrooms", but it will soon become literal. In February, 2017, in Russia, appeared the first house with 38 m2 area. The house grew up within 24 hours in the town of Stupino,...

  • Lifestyle & Travel

    Oct 1, 2015

    A Lake of Splendour

    Lake Como, Lago di Como, Lago Lario, so many names, and just one place. And a beautiful one too. By the Alps, and almost in Switzerland lies this majestic and magnificent lake, which has been a stage for many loves, many cries, and the...

  • Fertile Uzbekistan

    Food & Beverage

    Feb 29, 2016

    Fertile Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan is a country full of sun and good lands. It remains a culture where vegetables, fruits and leafy greens are mandatory in their table – "dastarkhan", an eating space. In the cold harsh winters, these fruits and vegetables...

  • Cashmere Scarf

    Luxury & Fashion

    Jan 1, 2015

    From Goat to Garment

    It is well known that the Mongolian herders are deeply rooted to their ancient traditions. Gobi is always respectful of the various traditions when working with the nomadic herders in different parts of Mongolia. It is this close relationship...