Berlin-based etailer Zalando has signed up 17 new premium brands for the first quarter of 2019 as it seeks to become a “noteworthy destination” for affordable luxury fashion, Drapers can reveal.
The partnerships extend across women’s and men’s fashion, footwear and accessories, and include See by Chloé, Mulberry, Diane von Furstenberg, Missoni, English footwear brand Cheaney and US contemporary brand Theory.
They will initially launch as wholesale, but the brands will have the opportunity to move onto Zalando’s retail marketplace as part of its partner programme at a later date.
Lena-Sophie Krups, who heads up the buying of premium brands at Zalando, told Drapers: “Our premium offer is one of the fastest-growing areas of Zalando. It is important that premium is now a noteworthy destination on Zalando. We started with a more mainstream and commercial approach with brands like Michael Kors and Hugo Boss, and we’ve now developed into a credible fashion destination.”
She added: “We have appointed a dedicated art director to make sure we are meeting the expectations of the brands with an elevated look.”
Zalando will launch each brand separately, she said, adding: “Some brands prefer to have a smaller launch with organic growth and some want a dedicated campaign. For example, for See by Chloé, we are doing an on-site campaign.”
She explained that Zalando wants to ensure the mix of brands reflects how its customers are shopping.
”Barely anyone shops just low or just high now, and so we are democratic in our strategy. What we offer is diverse, and it’s more versatile than in the past. We want to make sure that we are a one-stop destination to inspire customers.”
Zalando’s revenue grew 11.7% to €1.2bn (£1bn) for the three months to 30 September, in what it called a “financially challenging” period.
The growth was lower than expected, but the etailer has since had a strong Black Friday. Sales broke previous records and it acquired more than 222,000 new customers. It received more than 4,200 orders per minute, compared with 2,000 per minute in 2017.
”[The third quarter] was not the greatest for us and we’re not happy with the financial results,” said Krups. “But, we had an incredibly strong Black Friday and are focusing on driving sales in the premium section, which plays a very important role in Christmas gifting at the end of the season.”