Zalando is THE success story par excellence: a huge european e-shopping “boom”, started from scratch – or almost. I guess most of you know about it by now and have probably ordered something, at least once, right? And who wouldn’t: a huge avariety of brands, top client service, and now a kick-ass eponymous collection!
This is the kind of story that fascinates me, and this is why I couldn’t help but try to ask some questions to the brand, to find out more about its evolution and its hometown, Berlin!
I was finally able to (virtually) speak with Rosanne Thesing, PR Manager for Belgium and the Netherlands, who is Dutch but lives in Berlin.
When and how did you come up with the idea of Zalando?
Zalando was started in Berlin in 2008 by two guys: Robert Gentz and David Schneider. After college, they started an online business in selling flip flops, because a few years ago no other company was doing this. From a basement in Berlin they would get all the packages ready, customer service was just a cell phone. When the flip flops were doing so good, they decided to include other types of shoes and before they knew it, they had a very fast growing business.
What do you think makes Zalando special and different?
Zalando is a very young and creative company, based in one of the most exciting cities in the world: Berlin. We are currently live in 14 countries and what makes us special is that we invite locals from every country to come work with us in Berlin. We believe that native speakers always have a better understanding of what works in their country. As a result we have a very international company, with 14 nationalities!
Now a bit more about Berlin! What are your favourite places, the ones you always take the people who visit you to?
There are so many great places here! But make sure to have breakfast or lunch at Suicide Sue, and have dinner at Lokal. I love to go shopping at The Puppets.There are a lot of nice museums in Berlin, my favorite is the modern art museum Hamburger Bahnhof. C/O Berlin usually has nice photo exhibitions and has a really great building.
(You can of course find all those hotspots on my Foursquare list To Do in Berlin!
Would you tell me about one place you usually keep for yourself? Like, your secret favorite place in Berlin?
I really like the restaurant Little Otik, it is so good! But I don’t want too many people to find out, because it’s already pretty hard to get a table there… so hush hush ;)
What do you like the most about Berlin? What makes it different from the other big European cities in your opinion?
There is always something going on in Berlin: parties, concerts, exhibitions, you name it. You can’t be bored for one minute in this town. And in Berlin there is still a lot of place left for new people and new ideas, unlike most European cities. And living here is getting more expensive but is still relatively cheap, in comparison to other cities!
Huge thanks to Oona and Zalando for this interview!
Photos/ Zalando Collection SS2013