Zalando set to open Irish platform as it expands further
Ireland and Czech Republic are first new additions since 2013 to ecommerce platform
Zalando director Kenneth Melchior: “The online market in Ireland is small but growing fast.”
Zalando is set to launch its online shop in Ireland, three years after it located its technology hub in the country.
The expansion this summer will also see the Czech Republic added to Zalando’s list of portals, bringing to 17 the number of European countries currently covered by the company.
Ireland and the Czech Republic are the first additions to the company’s platform since 2013. The move will add a potential 15.4 million people to the company’s market.
“The online market in Ireland is small but growing fast,” said Kenneth Melchior, director northern Europe, at Zalando. “Ireland has a growing €5.6 billion fashion market and only 6 per cent of this is online – compared to 18 per cent, for example, in the UK.”
The company offers brands the opportunity to reach more than 23 million customers in Europe, giving them access to a wider market, particularly for local brands. A firm date hasn’t been set for launch but it is expected to be in the coming weeks.
Mr Melchior said the company felt there was an opportunity in the Irish market, leading it to make its first expansion in five years.
“We were building up capabilities and focusing on 15 markets,” Mr Melchior said. “We launched quite a few markets between 2008 and 2013.”
Zalando will launch its wholesale business first in Ireland. It also has a brand partnerships programme that allows brands to sell directly to customers, a programme that it began scaling last year to meet the challenge from US retailer Amazon.
Customers dealing with Zalando in Ireland will be served by the company’s existing logistic sites, which are mainly located in Germany. However, Irish customers will be able to access free deliveries and returns.
Additional language versions of the platform will launch in Germany and Switzerland. Zalando is also adding H&M Group brand Monki from August, the third brand from the group that has debuted on the platform. Founded in 2006, the brand mixes Scandinavian fashion with Asian street style. It joins Weekday and Cheap Monday from the H&M brand portfolio on Zalando.