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Zalando plans largest outlet store in Düsseldorf

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German fast fashion retailer Zalando is opening a new outlet store in Düsseldorf as it seeks to sell low value inventory.

The new site, set to open next year, will be the company’s largest Zalando Outlet, measuring 2400 square metres in floor space.

It will be situated at the Kö district, a prominent boulevard in the centre of the city.

Currently, Zalando has eight outlets in Germany, including Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig and Münster. The Düsseldorf location and four others are set to be added by the end of 2022.

The stores are used to sell a range of discounted goods that for whatever reason are difficult to sell online.

This includes those which are reduced to single sizes, out-of-season or those with minor defects.

Our view: The outlets provide two key functions for Zalando. On the one hand, outlets are one way that Zalando shifts goods that it cannot sell at full price online, including returns.

In February, the German government passed a new law that will make the destruction of products more difficult, upping the pressure on retailers to find a better way of dealing with returns.

The retailer said that although it has a returns rate of around 50%, 97% of its articles are sold again via the Zalando Shop while others are sold via Zalando Lounge or outlet stores or donated. Only around 0.05% of articles are destroyed due to necessity, the company added.

For a pure-play online retailer, the outlets also provide a visible high street presence for the retailer.

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