Etail giant Zalando and Danish fashion group Bestseller have formed a joint venture to take equal ownership of FashionTrade.com with a plan to be at the forefront of the digitisation of the B2B wholesale marketplace.
FashionTrade.com was founded in 2015 with the backing of Bestseller. With Zalando now on board as equal owner the businesses say they intend to transform the platform into an “international online leader in B2B fashion marketplaces”. FashionTrade.com enables the sale and purchase of wholesale goods worldwide and also offers users access to data which it says can improve brand and retailer margins.
“This joint venture is rooted in a vision to digitise the fashion wholesale industry, and we are proud that FashionTrade.com is at the forefront of this change. Bestseller United has offered incredible support and trusted expertise as we’ve launched our business over the past two years,” said FashionTrade.com CEO Pernille Geneser.
“We are excited to now have the opportunity to leverage global insights and market leading experience from Zalando. The additional investment will enable us to continue building intuitive, digital solutions that both fashion brands and retailers can use to grow their business in a more cost efficient way,” she added.
Zalando co-founder and co-CEO David Schneider said he saw great potential in FashionTrade.com as the wholesale marketplace still relies heavily on manual processes. “We see big potential in how FashionTrade can optimise these processes to connect brands and retailers in a simple way. That’s why we decided to invest together with Bestseller United in this smart approach, which will enable the global B2B fashion market to leverage the potential that digitisation and technology has to offer. This investment ties perfectly into our platform strategy, which aims to connect the different players in the fashion industry,” he said.
Earlier this month Zalando, which is positioning itself as an operating system for fashion, formally launched its Zalando Fulfillment Solutions service which allows fashion brands to take advantage of its logistics facilities and know-how. Bestseller already takes advantage of this service along with Elvi, EVITA, Motion Fashion and Surf4Shoes.
According to business consultants Frost & Sullivan‘s Future of B2B Online Retailing, the online B2B retail market is expected to double the size of the business-to-consumer (B2C) online market by 2020. In response to this the marketplace model has already moved from a “one-to-many to a many-to-many capability”, which, say Zalando and Bestseller, leaves room for private and specialised marketplaces such as FashionTrade.com to gain traction.