Inside Zalando, The European E-Commerce Giant That Eric Schmidt Named As One Of The Biggest Threats To Google

ZalandoBI IntelligenceBerlin-based Zalando is on track to do $US2.8 billion in sales this year.

During a speech he gave in Berlin earlier this week, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt name-dropped a retail company that is virtually unknown in the US — Zalando — citing it alongside Amazon as one of the biggest threats to Google’s search business. Shoppers are searching for stuff they want to buy on sites like Amazon and Zalando, instead of Google.

But what exactly is Zalando? Here are the five main things you should know about the company, according to BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s subscription service:

  • Zalando is a successful Berlin-based online fashion retailer. It sells brand clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories. It’s in more than 14 European countries including the UK, France, and Italy.
  • Zalando’s model is Zappos, the American online shoe retailer acquired by Amazon in 2009. But detractors simply call the company a Zappos clone. This claim isn’t unwarranted. Zalando is one of many companies to come out of Rocket Internet, a German tech accelerator known for successfully cloning US tech companies for European markets.
  • But Zalando has been successful in tackling Europe’s demographic and logistical complexity. Zalando has a bunch of country-specific websites, and multiple fulfillment centres, one of which is reportedly Europe’s single largest e-commerce warehouse.
  • Zalando went public on the German stock exchange earlier this month. The IPO was a bit disappointing, and the stock has dropped in value, but then again Zalando went public ahead of a global stock slump, and amid a terrible economic climate in Europe, and Germany.
  • The company is doing very well on the revenue side, as the chart above shows. Zalando posted about $US2.3 billion in sales last fiscal year. In August, Zalando announced revenues of about $US1.4 billion for the first half of 2014. See chart below.

To access our downloadable data on Zalando and BI Intelligence’s ongoing coverage on the future of retail, mobile, and e-commerce — including charts, data, and analysis — sign up of a free trial.

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