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When online shoe and fashion outlet Zando hit the South African market six months ago, it was clear that the local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot were about to get some serious competition.
The company, which apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos, is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire — GigaOM estimates that it owns some 38 companies across 58 countries. A number of these properties follow the same model as Zando, including Zalando in Germany and the UK, Locondo in Japan, The Iconic in Australia, and Zalora in Singapore.
In the six months since its launch Zando has increased the number of brands it stocks from 20 to 300. The site also now lays claim to around 200 000 unique visitors a month.
“While retail growth in South Africa is currently around six percent, online retail growth is more in the region of 30%. It is my unwavering belief that the South African market has only begun to scratch the surface of the potential for ecommerce in South Africa,” says Peter Allerstorfer, co-founder and MD of Zando.
Allerstorfer reckons the fact that the company can offer so many local and international brands with 8000 styles is “a direct result of listening to what our customers want”.
“We are encouraged by the success we have experienced in the South African market thus far. This growth has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to the same success and more in the next six months,” concludes Allerstorfer.
In addition to Zando, Rocket Internet owns a couple of other properties in South Africa, including furniture sales property 5rooms and cosmetics trial service Glossybox. It also has a 10% stake in daily deals giant Groupon’s play in the country.