German etailer Zalando and Danish brand house Bestseller have teamed up to expand online fashion wholesale marketplace Fashiontrade.com.
Fashiontrade.com was founded in 2015 with the backing of Bestseller, which now shares equal ownership with Zalando.
The partnership aims to digitalise the wholesale buying process, Zalando’s vice-president of direct to consumer, Carsten Keller, told Drapers.
“It’s about bringing the industry up to speed, connecting the dots and bringing buyers and brands closer together. We have retail and marketplace experience, so we know how the wholesale process works from both sides. We believe it can be more efficient compared with the sitting at a table with sheets of paper that we see at trade shows and showrooms now.”
He said the primary focus for the marketplace was helping independent retailers: “We want to give independents an economy of scale. The platform gives them an opportunity to put things into their basket as and when they need them, but also to make sure they have the right mix of brands and categories through machine learning.”
Pernille Geneser, chief information officer at Bestseller and CEO of Fashiontrade.com, said the platform was established to make the buying process more cost effective for retailers.
“We started it to try and share our learnings at Bestseller. A lot of retailers are under pressure and the platform allows us to assist them, improve collaboration and build a more profitable margin.”
The platform currently has 50 kidswear and menswear brands signed up including Bench and Wheat, and intends to move into womenswear in the next couple of seasons.
Fashiontrade.com plans to expand to 9,000 retailers over the next couple of years. The company declioned to reveal how many retailers are currently signed up.
Currently the business is focusing on Benelux and Scandinavia, but will then move onto Germany, France and the UK. The aim is to be Europe-wide by 2020.