ZOOT LAUNCHES A PERSONAL STYLIST SERVICE
Does my bum look okay in these trousers? What should I wear to my best…
ZOOT, the largest Czech fashion e-commerce store has gained a new investor that has helped this company double its sales and expand its product offering and physical stores, named Try & Buy Stores, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The accelerated growth is due to the investment from 3TS Capital Partners, which is one of the leading venture capital investors in Central and Eastern Europe.
Czech people spend more than 2 billion euros on fashion every year, only 5% of which comes from sales online. It is predicted to reach 15% in 2020. ZOOT hopes to accelerate the process of moving customers from brick & mortar stores to buying fashion online, as the future of fashion will most likely be online. ZOOT offers a new collections from world-renowned brands every week, which makes them the leader in the Czech market. It has bold plans within the next three years – achieve a turnover of 55 billion euros and compete with established fashion department stores.
The company revenues amounted to 6,5 million euros last year, which has more than doubled when compared to 2013. Overall, ZOOT has sold more than 250,000 fashion pieces. ZOOT.cz is one of the most visited Czech Internet sites, with almost 1.2 million individual visitors every month and almost 80,000 visitors a day. That’s much higher than the number of visitors at the largest shopping centres.
ZOOT’s formula breaks the mould of regular fashion shopping. Daily newsletters bring a new dose of inspiration about new brands and collections every day. There is the option of trying items on before purchasing at the Try and Buy Stores and only taking home what fits. There is also the option of having items delivered to these stores in Prague within just a few hours after ordering. ZOOT constantly tries to make the gap smaller and join the two worlds together – online shopping and brick and mortar stores. Up to 55% of all their customers use the Try and Buy Stores, which earns the company more than half of its turnover. Right now there are nine Try and Buy Stores: in Prague, Brno, Plzen, České Budějovice, and Bratislava. In the future, there will be Try and Buy Stores in all the regional capitals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“Investments help us ripple the water of the fashion market in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which lacks diverse supply,” says ZOOT’s Director Ladislav Trpák in reply to the question of what will help ZOOT move forward with further investments. “Our ambition is to democratize fashion with fresh brands that are popular in other areas, but due to various international supply restrictions they don’t have the opportunity to move forward and expand to new markets.” But that doesn’t end with fashion, according to his words: “We want to change the perception of fashion in the Czech Republic and Slovakia by going further and making shopping and daily life enjoyable with an individual, personal approach,” says Ladislav Trpák when describing ZOOT’s vision. “That’s why we support creative and talented designers within our ZOOT Originál and Lokál brands. We also cooperate with nonprofits organizations. Finally, we are also preparing to open new Try & Buy Stores, where we can meet our customers and have a chance talk to them personally.“
Why ZOOT? ”ZOOT attracted us due to it’s huge growth and opportunity potential,” says Jiří Beneš, the leading Prague partner at 3TS Capital Partners. “Fashion retail sales are rapidly shifting to the online platform and the Central and Eastern European market is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. We are pleased to continue our investment in the Czech Republic with this growth investment,” adds Jiří Beneš.
ZOOT’s co-founder Oldřich Bajer sees the arrival of the new investor as the beginning of further possible partnerships: “ZOOT has found the right path since it first started out wanting to run a full-fledged fashion e-commerce site in 2012. Ever since then, we’ve created a strong, cutting-edge online fashion concept that breaks the norm in the Czech Republic and Slovak environments. We provide a colourful fashion world which, combined with our network of physical Try & Buy Stores, has shown unparalleled results in the region. We are pleased that we can develop this concept together with the 3TS investors who are experienced in e-commerce, and we are looking forward to build this new segment together.”
ZOOT used advisory services from Erste and legal services from the BADOKH company when closing the funding process. 3TS’ consultant in regards to accounting and taxes was PwC, and the legal adviser was the JŠK law agency.
Andrea Burgerová, e-mail: email@example.com, +420 773 658 446
Jiří Beneš, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, +420 602 651 623