ZOOT RANKS 6TH MOST DYNAMIC AND FAST-GROWING TECHNOLOGICAL COMPANY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.
In the 2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 ranking, a programme which recognises and profiles the growth of…
Bucharest, November 9th 2016. One year after the entering the Romanian market, ZOOT, the Czech retailer, continues its expansion. Launched in November 2015 with 250 brands and 2 Try&Buy Stores in Bucharest, ZOOT.ro has, one year later, 300 brands and 8 Try&Buy Stores – 6 in Bucharest, 1 Cluj and 1 in Timisoara – and will open another one in Constanța, in Tomis Mall, at the end of November.
The Czech retailer came to Romania a year ago with a unique business model on the market: customers can try on what they order online in the Try&Buy Stores before paying, free shipping and free returns for 90 days. Thus, at the end of 2016, 2 out of 3 Romanians who order from the 300 brands on ZOOT.ro choose to firstly try on and then buy only what fits them and what they actually like. The average value of the products in an order is 43 euros and 1 of 2 clients is at least at their second order each month.
“The first year was, even for us, at ZOOT, a novelty: a new brand on the Romanian market, a new business model, new Try&Buy Stores, new colleagues, new brands, new services. As such, our focus has been to create a common vision for the team and establish the common steps we need to take in this sea of novelties and to find our way”, says Robert Berza, Country Manager of ZOOT Romania.
“After 12 months, I would say that the way is becoming more and more clear, the number of customers is increasing, their loyalty is surprisingly good, the revenues are increasingly higher and the margin is where we think it should be to build a profitable business“, he continues.
As concerns the Romanian consumer behavior, in addition to general market lines, the unique business model in Romania has revealed other kind of information as well. One of them is the fact that there is openness not just from the younger generations, although the orders are placed through the customer care department, not online, on the website: one of the ZOOT customers, over 55 years old, has until now over 175 completed orders, which translates into earnings for the company of over EUR 10,000. Opening Try&Buy Stores in Cluj and Timisoara revealed another controversy as concerns the rivalry between major cities in Romania: the difference between Cluj and Timisoara in terms of number of orders placed in the Try&Buy Stores is below 5% in favour of Cluj for the last 3 months, which poses problems in deciding who is best in the area when it comes to online shopping.
Wanting to have a say in the fashion industry today, the Czech leader retailer has its own three private labels, ZOOT Original, OJJU and Alchymi, covering consumers’ wishes and needs in terms of clothes, shoes and accessories. Thus, over 700 new products of the private labels are available on ZOOT.ro, the design being done by the ZOOT team and the production taking place in different locations in Europe.
Following the on/offline business model, ZOOT.ro chose to edit and publish the homonymous magazine. The pilot number of the ZOOT magazine was launched in December 2015, currently the magazine having a bimestrial frequency and a circulation of 25,000 copies/issue, the highest on the lifestyle and fashion category to which it belongs according to BRAT.
ZOOT.ro business objective is to consistently operate above the level reached in the autumn of 2016, + 40% gross margin, which ensures that the profitability level is maintained. As a result, ZOOT.ro does not focus on aggressive discounts every day. With orders with a total value of euro 0.5m in October 2016, ZOOT.ro estimates 2m euros worth of orders in Q4 2016.
Regarding the plans for 2017, Robert Berza, Country Manager ZOOT Romania, says:
“If 2016 is rather the year we built a foundation, in 2017 the focus will be on aggressively increasing the number of customers and orders. Certainly, to do this, will have to strengthen our team, our brand positioning, product offerings and customer service. “