European e-tailer Zalando is potentially looking into entering the US market through a major, secret project said to be dubbed “Project Kangaroo”. According to a German report via Business Insider, the multi-brand fashion giant has been planning the move for months, with the goal to start on the expansion by the beginning of 2023. However, the project is said to be “on hold” or paused for now.
The media outlet, which claimed to have learned the news from internal sources, reported that Zalando was planning to invest a three-digit million sum into the project, with more than a hundred employees said to be working under a non-disclosure agreement. The project is reportedly being led by chief business and product officer, Jim Freeman, an American and a former Amazon employee.
Zalando itself did not confirm the media report when asked, however it also did not rule out expansion outside of Europe either. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the company told FashionUnited: “In recent years, we have made great progress on our growth path in Europe. We are continuously looking for opportunities to improve our offer, including possible new categories and regions.
“We believe that there will also be opportunities to grow beyond the European continent in this context. In the current economic environment, we are focused on serving our customers and partners in existing Zalando markets in the best possible way.” In order to enter the market, Freeman is apparently considering a new marketing strategy for Zalando, which has previously relied on TV advertising and large banners. Its US direction will focus more on influencer marketing, with a particular emphasis on well-known names in order to quickly create awareness and trust.
Despite the reported plans, the news follows a rocky first quarter for the company, which saw sales decline by 1.5 percent and shares go from 100 euros to 25 euros.
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