Background to Zalando
Zalando is an internet retailer of branded clothing and footwear for men, women and
children. The company operates in the standard and premium segments, offering a
wide range of products. It is expanding the number of exclusive brands offered by its
Internet shop. Zalando was established in Germany by Robert Gentz and David
Schneider in 2008. The company is headquartered in Berlin and has operated so far
only in e-commerce. A customer service hotline and free delivery and free return of
goods are offered.
Zalando is the largest online footwear shop in Europe, offering a high number of
international brands. Besides footwear, Zalando distributes women’s and men’s
outerwear, underwear, hosiery and clothing accessories, as well as bags and a
number of other product types. In March 2010 Zalando expanded its product range
by adding children’s wear. In January 2011, the internet retailer started to sell
exclusive perfume brands.
Zalando is a rapidly growing company. Its first acquisition took place in May 2010
with the buyout of MyBrands, an online designer outlet. With the acquisition of
MyBrands, Zalando has broadened its target consumer group and its range of
Zalando is firmly established in the European market. To compete in other global
markets, top management has decided to expand Zalando’s products to the Middle
Eastern Region and have shortlisted three countries as potential markets:
Turkey, Egypt, and UAE.
Assume you are a marketing consultant, and Zalando has approached you to assess
opportunities in the Middle Eastern Region. The following is the Research Brief you
are given by Management:
Considering Zalando being a medium sized firm we want to expand cautiously and
step by step.
While operating in the whole Middle Eastern Region is a long term objective at first
we want to identify the most prospective market to enter. As we want to know which
of the three markets the firm should enter first, we want you to undertake a market
In your analysis, examine the investment environment, effects of government
interventionist policies, the market potential, the impact of regional integration
initiatives, if any, and related issues with a clear identification of opportunities and
threats in each of these markets.
Recommend which country the firm should enter first, explaining why. Also suggest
which market entry strategy is more appropriate, with justification. Resource wise,
we are confident that we will have no problem to undertake the opportunities
identified and recommendations proposed in your report.
Assignment Marking Criteria
While marking your assignment we will be looking for evidence for how well you
have addressed the question / issues. The following part explains the key points you
should consider in preparing your assignment. It is also important to review the
specifications and guidelines outlined in your unit handbook, such as ‘Learning
outcomes’ along with the ‘Assessment Criteria’, ‘the Assignment Strategy’, etc.
1. Introduction: A brief introduction that provides the background and purpose of
the report or its objectives, and how the report is structured. Interpreting the
question – this ideally should be clear within the introduction along with
background / context.
2. Addressing the question / topic: The main body of the report where the
question is addressed. (This part may have a few sections / sub-sections). The
key criteria here include:
a. Research – evidence of systematic research approach, depth and breadth
of research undertaken; application of appropriate conceptual (theoretical /
empirical) framework(s), etc.
b. Analysis – well focussed on answering the question, depth and clarity of
argument, evidence of critical engagement, organising / summarising
collected information (e.g. in Tables, Graphs, trends, etc.); answering the
3. Conclusion and recommendations: A clear, concise, and relevant conclusion
(and recommendations where appropriate). A conclusion where the key points
that have emerged from the discussion are summarised, implications and where
further investigation may be appropriate, are stated. Clear and practical
recommendations that emerge from the findings and the conclusion.
4. Scholarly practice – a proper referencing within the report (citations), employing
appropriate International Business/ Global Marketing vocabulary, etc., the quality
of the Reference section. (Harvard style of referencing).
5. Presentation: Neat layout, and headings / sub-headings where appropriate.
Pages should be numbered; and also Tables and Figures numbered and labelled
sequentially and appropriately. Sources of Tables and Figures should be
indicated for each Table and Figure. Clarity of expression (appropriate language,
grammar, spelling, etc.). Length of the report should be 3,500 (+/-10%) without
including the reference section. Word-count at the end of the report. No
attachments / appendices allowed.