"Several hundred" job losses confirmed at Zalando

The German e-commerce business was affected by "pandemic tailwinds" in 2022.

German e-commerce giant Zalando was confirmed to be the latest affected by widescale redundancies.

Hundreds of "overhead" roles will be shed in a company-wide restructuring announced February 21 by Zalando's co-CEOs David Schneider and Robert Gentz.

Just a couple of years ago Zalando was expanding product after purchasing a Swiss computer vision platform, Fision, to generate 3D virtual bodies and clothing models.

Zalando's financial performance began to deteriorate last year. On November 3, in its third quarter update, Zalando warned full-year results would come in at the "lower end of its guidance range."

The danger was spelt out in the headline figures; revenue growth amounted to just 2.9% year/year, down from 23.4% in the comparable 2021 period.

Despite reaching 50 million customers in the September quarter, Zalando was affected by "pandemic tailwinds" as the e-commerce surge caused by COVID-19 began to fade into background noise.

A hiring slowdown was implemented recently by management and workers may have seen the writing on the wall ⁠— now Gentz and Schneider have conceded the balance sheet just isn't where it should be.

In the online update, the founders wrote: "Over the last few years, some parts of our company have expanded too much and we have added a degree of complexity to our organization that impacted our ability to act fast. 

"This will not be news to you as we frequently talked about it over the last year. Since then, we have made good progress in recent months with our slowdown in hiring and efforts to simplify our organisation.

"Yet, going into 2023 we acknowledge that we are not where we need to be and as a result, we must take even more decisive action. This is a very tough but necessary step to equip our organisation to best act on the challenges and opportunities that the future holds for us."

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