February 21, 2014, 4:09 PM

Web sales rise 53% for German shoe and apparel retailer Zalando

Zalando is based in Berlin and sells more than 150,000 products from 1,500 brands.

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Germany-based online shoe and apparel retailer Zalando posted sales of 1.76 billion euros (US $2.42 billion) in 2013, up 53% compared to 1.15 billion euros (US $1.58 billion) a year earlier.

Zalando, which is based in Berlin and sells more than 150,000 products from 1,500 brands, says sales in its core markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland totaled more than 1 billion euros (US $1.37 billion) for the first time since the retailer launched in late 2008. Sales in those regions totaled 1.05 billion euros (US $1.44 billion) in 2013 compared to 773 million euros (US $1.01 billion) a year earlier.

“2013 was another strong year for us and underlines our leading position in Europe’s fashion e-commerce,” says Robert Gentz, founder and managing director of Zalando.

For 2013, the retailer reports:

• Sales of 1.76 billion euros (US $2.42 billion), up  53% compared to 1.15 billion euros (US $1.58 billion) a year earlier.

• 300 million web visitors to its shops.

• Zalando expanded selling online to 15 European countries with the addition of Luxemburg  in November.

• Sales in its key markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland  totaled 1.05 billion euros (US $1.44 billion) in 2013 compared with 773 million euros (US $1.01 billion) a year earlier, an increase of 36%.

• The retailer has 13 million active customers who have purchased in the past year, up from 9 million in 2012.

Mobile-optimized shopping channels for all 15 countries in which the retailer sells. 35% of total traffic to the retailer is from mobile devices

• The retailer sold more apparel than shoes for the first time since its launch.

Despite its strong sales growth, Zalando says a late summer and a mild winter in Europe forced Zalando to deeply discount much of its stock, which put pressure on margins.

The retailer also last year invested in strategic initiatives in areas including fulfillment and technology. The retailer says it doubled its warehouse capacity last year. It currently operates three fulfillment centers in Germany totaling 220,000 square meters. The most recent fulfillment center, which began operations in the summer, covers 75,000 square meters, and Zalando says it plans to add an additional 55,000 square meters to the facility this year.

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