Zalando to axe zLabels, own brands will now be 'everyday essentials'

today Mar 15, 2019
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Zalando has launched a change of approach as it “refines its private labels assortment to pursue a complementary strategy with its partner brands.” The company said that the result of this is the closure of the private label business within its zLabels operation.

Zalando is axing its zLabels operation

It’s now bundling its private labels and its partner brand assortment “under one roof” and said a “significant number” of those working on zLabels “will move into the Zalando Fashion Store or will be offered comparable positions within Zalando.”

The Germany-based fashion e-tail giant’s co-CEO David Schneider said that the zLabels concept was launched in 2010 in order to “fill the ‘blank spots’ in our assortment, offering our customers products that were not being provided by our partner brands.” But in the last nine years, the picture has changed radically and it seems many of those ‘blank spots’ no longer exist. “Since we are committed to our platform strategy, and as we continuously onboard new brands and verticals, we decided to refine our assortment including our own labels,” he said.

The new strategy will launch as of the SS20 season with Zalando’s private labels now set to “focus on customers’ everyday essentials for our apparel offering and continue with a focused footwear and accessories assortment.” The 11 private label brands will be kept “for the time being and reviewed in line with this new assortment strategy at a later point.”
Schneider added: “This approach will allow us to work together under one roof, with a strategic direction for our own assortment which will be more complementary to our partner brands. This is very much in line with our ambition of becoming the starting point for fashion. We are convinced that our strong customer focus and platform strategy are the right path to success.”

He also said he feels the company has “a lot of talent within the current zLabels team and it is really important to us to keep this talent within the Zalando family.”

It’s certainly an interesting approach and goes against what some other retailers are doing with big e-tail names such as Amazon and Asos, as well as omnichannel retailers like John Lewis, focusing much more heavily on their private label offer.

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