Zooming in on Zalando: we talked shop with founder and co-CEO Robert Gentz (video interview)

robert genz

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Robert Gentz, one of the founders and co-CEO of Zalando, the European fashion e-commerce juggernaut that sold about €1.38 billion worth of shoes, apparel and accessories in the first half of this year alone.

At TOA Berlin, we talked about Zalando’s current size (the company is poised to grow to a workforce of around 10,000 by the end of this year), its revenue (€2.2 billion in 2014, €738 million last quarter), its customer base (approximately 16.4 million active customers) and target markets (15 countries today, all of them in Europe).

I was curious whether Zalando had any plans to expand beyond Europe, but Gentz immediately pointed out that the size of the fashion business in Europe is about €400 billion a year (and counting), thus leaving a lot of room for Zalando to grow bigger even without necessarily expanding to the United States or Asia.

On that topic, we also discussed the war for talent currently that’s currently heating up in Berlin and other major European tech hubs, the digital transformation of the fashion industry, Zalando’s foray into products outside its ‘regular’ online store and its corporate development / acquisition strategy.

We also talked about whether going public (Zalando listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange last October) has changed the way things work at the company, and Gentz was also keen on sharing his thoughts on the vibrant Berlin startup scene. Enjoy the interview!

Also read:

After Dublin, Zalando to open tech hub in Helsinki this summer, plans to hire 50 people in the first year

From Auctionata to Zalando: A comprehensive study on Europe’s most promising tech ‘scale-ups’

Old money, new business – An inside look at Sweden’s Kinnevik, the money behind Zalando

Meet the people behind the tech behind Zalando (video interview)

Featured image credit: tech.eu

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