In the same way retailers study Asos as a pioneer and innovator, they should take interest in Zalando, which updates on financials tomorrow.
Remember when people used to say that fashion would never work online? That world view looks very ‘flat Earth’ these days, evidenced last week by Asos’ latest update showing continued success at home and abroad.
Like Asos, Zalando is growing at home and abroad. It operates in 15 European markets at present – including the UK – and carries more than 1,500 brands including own-label.
It is of interest not just because, through its presence here, it is a competitor against domestic fashion retailers, but because it is becoming an important partner for UK retailers that sell their product through Zalando.
Those partners include SuperGroup, which last week in its full-year results flagged how third-party platforms have helped it build online sales.
SuperGroup works with seven partner sites, including Zalando, which between them account for 12% of its ecommerce business.
That has been partly possible because of Zalando’s investment in technology – surely an essential these days as retailers seek both to reflect consumers’ increasing take-up of new tech and to operate as efficiently as possible.
Earlier this year Zalando bought Tradebyte Software to improve its ability to digitalise partners’ stock and connect it to retail channels. You can bet that more UK retailers will sign up as partners as they too seek to build online revenues.
When it last updated in May, Zalando reported that active customer numbers had reached more than 18 million compared with 15.4 million in the comparable period last year. Full-year sales are expected to be at the upper end of 20% to 25% growth expectations.
The success of Zalando, like that of Asos, shows just how much online fashion retail has become part of the mainstream. More growth is likely.