BERLIN, Nov 19 (Reuters) - German fashion e-tailer Zalando
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
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
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)