Zalando, the German e-tail giant, has experienced an extraordinary year of growth in 2021. The company’s latest report reveals impressive figures, including a 34.1% increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV) to €14.3 billion and a 29.7% rise in revenue to €10.4 billion. Adjusted EBIT profit also saw a significant boost, reaching €468.4 million, while net profit increased to €234.5 million. Additionally, Zalando welcomed over 10 million new customers to its platform.

Despite not explicitly mentioning the Ukraine crisis in its report, Zalando anticipates a potential slowdown in sales growth for 2022. This projection is based on the expectation that as life returns to normal and physical stores are no longer restricted, online sales may no longer receive the same level of boost. Zalando projects sales to grow between 12% and 19% this year, with a revenue range of €11.6 billion to €12.3 billion. The adjusted operating profit is estimated to fall between €430 million and €510 million. However, Zalando remains ambitious and aims to achieve a GMV of €30 billion or more by 2025.

Reflecting on the remarkable achievements of 2021, Zalando not only surpassed its growth expectations but also reaffirmed its commitment to strategic initiatives for future expansion. The company attributes its GMV growth to strong consumer demand for online offerings and increased adoption of platform services by partners. However, it is worth mentioning that financial performance began to stabilize in the second half of last year as European economies gradually reopened.

Robert Gentz, Co-CEO of Zalando, expressed satisfaction with the company’s strong results, highlighting the effectiveness of Zalando’s strategy despite the market environment. Furthermore, Zalando’s customer base experienced significant growth, serving over 48 million active customers across 23 markets, which includes the launch of six new markets in 2021. The average number of orders per active customer reached 5.2.

One of Zalando’s standout achievements is the success of its membership program, Zalando Plus, which played a vital role in strengthening customer relationships. Plus members visited the site twice as often and spent three times more than non-Plus customers. In early 2022, the program surpassed one million members and plans to expand to more markets by the end of 2023.

Zalando’s Partner Program and Connected Retail offers were also integral to its success, accounting for 30% of Fashion Store GMV, an increase from 24% the previous year. With over 5,800 brand partners and nearly 7,000 connected stores, Zalando aims to achieve 50% of Fashion Store GMV from these programs.

To support its future growth, Zalando plans to invest further in its European logistics network. By 2023, the company aims to add four new fulfillment centers, in addition to the 12 centers it currently operates across seven countries. Zalando estimates its total capital expenditure for 2022 to be between €400 million and €500 million.

Overall, Zalando’s exceptional performance in 2021 solidifies its position as a leading e-commerce player in the fashion industry. Despite the anticipated sales growth slowdown, the company remains confident in its strategy and is determined to continue expanding its customer base and fostering partnerships with brands and retailers.

Useful links:
1. Zalando Website
2. About Zalando