Zalando to cut several hundred jobs worldwide
Online fashion retailer Zalando announced on Tuesday that it would cut several hundred jobs worldwide, citing a "complicated" economic climate for digital players, who have been laying off employees in recent months.
The German group will launch "a programme to reduce several hundred positions within the teams", the management of the online fashion retailer said in a letter to its employees on the morning of Tuesday February 21. Zalando, based in Berlin, employs 17,000 people worldwide.
"The macroeconomic environment has become more complicated," CEOs and founders Robert Gentz and David Schneider said in the letter. "Some parts of our business have been growing too fast," they added.
"This decision (...) means that some parts of our company must be shaped differently from the configuration that has made us successful in the past," the founders summarised.
Many divisions affected
The job cuts are expected to affect "many of Zalando's divisions, including the top management levels", the executives explained. However, employees in "logistics centres, customer service and shops" will not be affected. Nor will the "operational positions" of Zalando Studio, which produces photos of items sold online.
The other details of the plan will only be known after consulting employee representatives by the management, which has already begun, they assured.
The managers mention certain parts of the company that "have grown too much", creating a more complex organisation that has an impact on the group's ability to react. This observation has already led the company to slow down hiring in recent months, in parallel with an effort to simplify the organisation.
"Instead of being a large company with a large company structure and mindset, we need to be a large company with a small company structure and mindset," says the message to employees. "An entrepreneurial company that embraces simplicity, pragmatism and frugality. These principles will drive innovation and allow us to invest in our strategic priorities and shape the future of European e-commerce."
Since its creation in 2008, the Zalando start-up has become one of Europe's leading online clothing retailers, boasting more than 50 million active customers.
A difficult context for pure players
The tech sector is facing a difficult environment with high inflation and rising interest rates after a boom period, particularly at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that benefited internet sales.
After redundancies at Amazon, Meta and Microsoft, Google in turn announced in January 12,000 job cuts, i.e. just over 6% of its workforce. Microsoft announced 10,000 redundancies by the end of March. In Germany, the software giant SAP will cut 3,000 jobs.
The morning of the announcement of these job cuts, Zalando's share price lost 1.68%, in last place on the Dax index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which fell by 0.38% to 15,418.77 points.
Zalando will present its 2022 financial statements on March 7. After passing the 10 billion euro mark in turnover (+34.1%) in 2021, the company was counting on growth of 16 to 23% for the following year.
The German portal is the leading online retailer of fashion products in France, according to figures from the Kantar data institute, which place Zalando ahead of Amazon and Vinted. Previously run from Berlin, the French business has been managed by a dedicated team based in Paris since September 2021.
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