Zalando Doesn’t Need to Fear Amazon

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Zalando presented good numbers today:

Zalando SE, Europe’s leading online platform for fashion, grew group revenues in the second quarter of 2016 to EUR 909-924 million or by 24-26% (Q2 2015: 733 million), according to preliminary figures. Zalando expects to achieve an adjusted EBIT of EUR 68-88 million, corresponding to an adjusted EBIT margin of 7.5-9.5% (Q2 2015: EUR 30 million, 4.1%). In the first half of 2016 Zalando achieved revenues of EUR 1,705-1,720 million (H1 2015: EUR 1,377 million), growing by 24-25%. Adjusted EBIT for the first half year 2016 is expected to come in at EUR 88-108 million, a margin of around 5.7% at the mid-point of the range (H1 2015: EUR 59 million, 4.3%).

Zalando is now on track to reach €3.67 billion in revenues this year (German).

Business of Fashion on how analysts view Zalando:

“Concern has been growing on EBIT margin development and threat from Amazon and this upgraded guidance will provide a good relief rally,” said UBS analyst Adam Cochrane. (…)

Analysts see ASOS as better placed to compete with Amazon as it has a targeted audience of fashion-conscious twenty-somethings and offers more own-label goods, while Zalando and Amazon both offer a broad range of brands to a broad clientele.

​If anything, Zalando should have proven by now that the company can compete with and grow besides Amazon. Fashion as a category seems to have specific attributes, not surprisingly, that you have to adress more directly than others as an online retailer.1 Maybe there is a lesson in there for competing with Amazon in general (and other big all-in-one online giants like Alibaba).

Amazon is with Style Code Live and “The Fashion Fund” experimenting with original online TV content for fashion. This, combined with Zalando’s mobile app offensive, gives us a glimpse at the variety that is coming to online fashion.

And now, we haven’t even spoken about how Zalando entrenches itself into every part of the fashion industry.

More on this topic:


  1. For example, Electronics and, say, gardening tools (or even books) have as categories more in common with each other. They are different from each other, obviously, but they can be more easily pressed into the same pattern without loosing too much market potential. 

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