In August last year Zalando, the shoe-retailing Zappos clone started by the Samwer brothers through their investment vehicle Rocket Internet, closed an undisclosed funding round thought to be in the realm of €100 million. This is very ‘Samwer’. Supercharge a clone site in order that it can scale as fast as possible before a competitor – such as the US site they are cloning – can enter the market. By the time the US startups has realised it needs to scale in Europe, Rocket Internet has the market sown up. Kerching!
Thus Zalando took that funding round and invested massively in the execution of scaling in other markets. It’s something to behold the Samwers in operation, and if you are a fan of a sort of MBA-oriented innovation in execution – as opposed to Silicon Valley’s ‘conceptual innovation’ – then it’s pretty impressive.
So a year later Zalando is today claiming it is now the market leader in France. In September, Zalando.fr’s monthly sales revenues in France surpassed the EUR 12 million mark and the company expects a total turnover of EUR 120 million for the year. That makes France the online merchant’s 3rd largest market, after Germany and the Netherlands. Competitors include Spartoo, Sarenza, Otto, Asos and a couple of smaller German etailers (Mirapodo, Frontlineshop).
To do this Zalando is going for range – incorporating 150 French brands into its range, which encompasses around 100,000 products from 1,300 brands. It looks like this is what is powering this growth.
We are expecting to achieve sales revenues of EUR 120 million for the full year 2011,” says Jérôme Cochet, CEO of Zalando SAS. A logistics center will be completed at the beginning of 2013 increasing the capacity of the existing warehouses by another 8 million items.
In Zalando’s German home market, the site is the second best-known brand in the country after Volkswagen.
Zalando is now concentrating on Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland