On April 22, Zalando extended its service selling second-hand garments to seven additional European countries: Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. In October 2020, Zalando launched the “pre-owned” platform in six countries: Germany, Spain, Poland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Torben Hansen, vice president recommerce at Zalando, said that customer feedback for the service has been “very positive.” He noted that the category has been increased from 20,000 items initially to 75,000 items currently.

He indicated that the German online retailer accepts like-new items without signs of use from over 3,000 brands. The service shows customers of second-hand items the amount of credits they can receive for their trade-in. They can choose to either receive the amount as a Zalando gift card or have it donated to the Red Cross or WeForest. Sellers receive a free shipping label and can send the items to the retailer for quality check. Customers can send up to 20 items at a time in one parcel.

“The worldwide demand for pre-owned fashion is expected to increase heavily over the next few years, so there is a lot of room for us to grow. But for now, we want to focus our attention on ramping up the category in the seven new markets before looking into any further expansions,” Hansen said. Zalando aims to trade 50 million second-hand items by 2023.

The company also indicated that its first-quarter results will be higher than projected by financial analysts thanks to a relatively strong start to the spring/summer season and a relatively low return rate. Based on preliminary data, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) went up by between 54.5 and 56.5 percent during the period, as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Revenues went up by between 46 and 48 percent, leading to an operating profit (Ebit) of between €80 million and €100 million, compared with an operating loss of €98.6 million. The final figures will be released on May 6.