David Schneider is a new entrant to this year’s list thanks to the German etailer’s rapid growth, and its increasing impact on the UK and Irish retail market with its acquisition of Berlin trade show Bread & Butter in June and the opening of a Fashion Insight Centre in Dublin.
Schneider, who founded the business with his university friend Robert Gentz from a shared apartment in 2008, has maintained an agile, entrepreneurial company culture despite an IPO last October and leapt at the chance to buy Bread & Butter out of insolvency for an undisclosed amount in June. Full details about what he plans to do with it have not been revealed as yet but it includes opening the event to consumers. The Berlin-based etailer reported sales of €2.2bn (£1.6bn) for 2014 but does not split out the size of its UK sale.
As part of Schneider’s strategy to become the most innovative online fashion retailer, Zalando bought a 20% stake in UK integration technology firm Anatwine to allow brand partners to integrate their systems quickly into its site in May and the new tech hub in Dublin, which opened in April, is charged with building systems and algorithms to quickly identify trends and promote relevant products on its site for a more personalised customer journey.