Jun 8, 2015
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Zalando purchases Bread & Butter

Jun 8, 2015

The next act in the Bread & Butter play. Zalando has just signed a letter of intent to purchase Bread & Butter, which has been in receivership since December. The German e-tailer plans on opening the event to the general public.

The German online retail giant has specified that the edition being held this July will be the last one organised by the current structure. Zalando will not be taking on the concept stores as they, only the trade fair, the name, of course, and the lease contract for the Tempelhof airport location.


The administrator had indeed created a new legal entity to ensure the event's survival. Bread & Butter has specified in a press release that the arrival of Zalando means the end of the legal procedure underway as of October 1st. "We have always been convinced of the appeal of Bread & Butter's fashion events and brand and that is why we had opted for the activity to continue as of the very beginning," said Christian Graf Brockdorff, the legal administrator.

The landmark jeans and urbanwear event of the 2000s saw its numbers go down over the past few seasons due to the competition of other Berlin-based fairs and announcements of projects that were never carried through, included a return to Barcelona that received a lot of buzz last summer before being cancelled. With Zalando, it's also the story of a new player entering the world of trade fairs. A player whose consumers are at the heart of its strategy and not the distributors.

"The Bread & Butter team as well as all of us at Zalando are convinced of Berlin's position, both now and in the future, as a fashion metropolis. That is why we have decided to work together to create a strong and innovative concept, giving consumers access to this exceptional event as well," said David Schneider, member of the Zalando board.

A bit of recognition for Karl-Heinz Müller, co-founder of Bread & Butter and who wanted to expand the fair in summer 2014 from 3 to 5 days with two dedicated to the general public.

While waiting for the purchase to be finalised, probably at the end of the summer, the teams are concentrating on the upcoming edition, taking place on July 7th to 9th. With approximately 120 exhibitors, it is going to be a compact event. The fair will only be occupying 3 halls as well as the central part of the airport (ex-Urban Base). The fair will also include Cookies Show, the childrenswear trade fair. 

Last year Zalando recorded 2.2 billion euros in revenue, up 26% from the year before. An increase thanks in part by the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with 1.2 billion (+17%) but also by its other countries with 900 million euros (+37%). With these numbers the company saw its finances back in the black, with 82 million euros in EBITDA.
Initially dedicated to footwear and accessories, the portal slowly opened up to apparel, even launching its own collections. With the latest brand names to join, Gap, Asos and Topshop, the site now boasts more than 1,500 brands, 147 million active buyers, and 100 million visits per month.

Bruno Joly (with Matthieu Guinebault)

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