Fashion e-tailer Zalando eyes growth acceleration in 2021: CFO

FILE PHOTO: The logo of fashion retailer Zalando is pictured at the new headquarters in Berlin, Germany, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – German fashion e-tailer Zalando ZALG.DE sees growth accelerating next year, Chief Financial Officer David Schroeder said on Thursday, after struggling to meet a surge in demand in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The imposition of lockdowns in the spring pushed many shoppers online and Berlin-based Zalando raised its guidance for growth in gross merchandise value in 2020 to 25%-27% when it reported strong third-quarter results this month.

“For next year I can promise that we will be prepared for accelerated growth,” Schroeder told the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Europe’s biggest pure-play online fashion retailer is undergoing a transition from a wholesale to a platform model where it enables direct-to-consumer sales by brands like Nike NKE.N and backs that up with order fulfillment.

That shift will make it easier to scale up deliveries in response to shifts in demand, Schroeder said, adding that in its incarnation as a wholesaler Zalando had to source inventory as much as a year in a advance.

While he expects demand tailwinds caused by a second wave of COVID-19 infections to fade, structural changes such as a consumer shift from offline to online shopping and more direct sales by brands are set to persist.

“Our strategy is the right one for the pandemic but also for what comes beyond,” Schroeder said.

Zalando shares are up 75% in the year to date, valuing the business at 20.3 billion euros ($24 billion).

($1 = 0.8448 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mark Potter

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Acosta Report Explores the “Mobile-ization” of Grocery Shopping and Acceleration Caused by COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With more than 260 million people now using smartphones in the U.S., it’s no surprise that grocery shopping is becoming an increasingly mobile experience, which has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Research released today in The Mobile-ization of Grocery Shopping report from Acosta — a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry — provides insight into how and why consumers are “mobile-izing” when it comes to grocery shopping.

The Mobile-ization of Grocery Shopping report from Acosta provides insight into how and why consumers are “mobile-izing” when it comes to grocery shopping.

“Smartphones have grown to become a huge part of daily life, so it’s only natural that retailers and shoppers are connecting this technology with the grocery buying experience,” said Colin Stewart, Executive Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta. “We saw increased mobile-ization numbers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shopping experience has significantly changed, and many consumers are limiting their trips to the grocery store and being as efficient as possible with their time in the store. To do this, they are looking to mobile solutions more and more.”

The Mobile-ization of Grocery Shopping provides a comprehensive breakdown of the latest trends in mobile-assisted and online shopping, including:

Who is “Mobile-izing”?

  • Eighty-nine percent of U.S. grocery shoppers are using a smartphone, 22% more than in 2015.
  • Fifty-eight percent of U.S. shoppers agreed they are comfortable using digital/online tools to assist with grocery shopping, up significantly from 35% of shoppers in 2015.
  • A shopper’s age/generation strongly correlates with how comfortable they feel using digital tools for grocery shopping, with 74% of Millennial shoppers feeling comfortable compared to less than half of Boomer shoppers.

Digital, Mobile & Social

  • More shoppers are viewing the grocery circular on their smartphones. In 2020, 34% of shoppers viewed the grocery circular online, and 26% of shoppers viewed the grocery circular via a retailer app.
  • Over the past five years, there have been significant shifts in the type of grocery coupons shoppers redeem. The percentage of shoppers redeeming paper/print coupons declined, and significant increases have been seen in the percentage of shoppers who have downloaded grocery coupons to their shopper card or mobile device.
  • More than seven in 10 shoppers report using a grocery retailer’s app. Shoppers use this technology for online orders as well as other reasons including to find products in the store and participate in loyalty programs.
  • Many grocery shoppers follow brands/products (48%) as well as retailers/stores (44%) on social media. Shoppers follow for special promotions or discounts, to learn about new products, to learn about special events or sales, and to get ideas for product use or recipes.

“Mobile-assisted grocery shopping is here to stay and offers a great opportunity for brands and retailers to truly meet the needs of today’s shoppers,” added Stewart. “By delivering an end-to-end approach from mobile recipe/meal planning and list making to e-commerce and an in-store experience that is enhanced by mobile, they can not only attract more customers but also engage with them in new and meaningful ways — during

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