Zalando trials same-day free deliveries from Adidas store

Thu Jun 9, 2016 3:01am EDT
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By Emma Thomasson

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, Zalando, facing a growing threat from rival Amazon moving into its territory, is teaming up with Adidas to offer same-day, free deliveries from one of its sports stores.

Berlin-based Zalando, which sells 1,500 fashion brands from warehouse stock, says the project will improve the speed of delivery and product availability and hopefully boost profits, just as Amazon is investing in its clothing labels and ever more convenient delivery options.

"Generation Y wants to have it on demand. They don't want to wait. They don't want to go to the store," Harm Ohlmeyer, head of digital commerce at Adidas, told Reuters in an interview.

"We shouldn't forget about Amazon. They are investing a lot... We can wait and see or we can act on it."

Zalando's pilot scheme with Adidas in Berlin will make it the first major dedicated online retailer to tap into the inventory held in brands' own shops.

Supermarkets have found it difficult to turn a profit by filling online orders from store shelves without charging extra for that convenience, although delivering food is far more costly than clothes, especially if chilled or frozen.

Zalando says the new service will initially be free. It didn't disclose the cost of the pilot but has said it plans to invest 200 million euros ($228 million) this year on technology and logistics.

Managing board member David Schneider believes that linking store stock to that held in warehouses will eventually make the system more efficient.   Continued...

A Zalando label lies on an item of clothing in a showroom of the fashion retailer Zalando in Berlin October 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo