Zalando is to axe several hundred roles as it confronts a challenging environment as “pandemic tailwinds fade”.


Zalando plans to cut hundreds of jobs amid challenging trading conditions

Zalando’s co-chief executives said that around 5% of staff would lose their jobs as the online fashion group became the latest pureplay forced to adapt to a changed environment.

The online fashion retailer cited over-expansion during the pandemic and tough macroeconomic conditions as a reason that job cuts were necessary. 

With more than 50 million active users on its platform in over 25 markets, Zalando co-chief executives David Schneider and Robert Gentz said it was “supported by an overall consumer shift towards online shopping and strong pandemic tailwinds in 2020 and 2021”.

But they admitted: “Over the last few years, some parts of our company have expanded too much and we have added a degree of complexity to our organisation that impacted our ability to act fast.”

As tough economic conditions slow online retail growth rates, the German company said it would be initiating a programme that would result in several hundred redundancies across teams. 

The retailer said the programme will take into consideration many parts of the business including senior leadership. 

However, staff working in frontline operation roles in logistics centres, customer care, outlet stores and operational roles in Zalando Studios will not be affected.

Schneider and Gentz wrote: “The pandemic tailwinds have faded since 2022 and the macroeconomic environment has become more challenging. This shift has highlighted the increased complexity of our company and our speed to react.

“Instead of a big company with a big company structure and mindset, we need to be a big company with a small company structure and mindset. An entrepreneurial company that embraces simplicity, pragmatism and frugality.

“Those principles will drive innovation and equip us to invest in our strategic priorities and shape the future of European ecommerce.”