This summer, over a four-month period, from June to September, Zalando’s Connected Retail Team traveled across Europe in a modified, new Volkswagen Multivan and spoke face-to-face with store owners and brands about how they are adapting their physical space to the Zalando platform expand to enable growth and reach new audiences.

    Using the customized new VW Multivan, the Connected Retail Team visited retail partners and fashion fairs from Denmark to Spain, stopping in ten countries including Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy. The team drove past the Eiffel Tower in Paris, visited the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping galleries in Italy and a Milan landmark, and celebrated its first Connected Retail anniversary in Switzerland with a party in Zurich. In addition, the team met potential partners at international fashion fairs such as Premium, Modefabriek and Revolver. The tour visited both independent, small shops and large chain stores, whose products range from clothing and accessories to shoes and luxury jewellery.

    The 40-strong team spent around 121 days on the road and crossed 9 borders with their vans. Between 150 cups of coffee and 8 shuffles for each road trip playlist, they shared the connected retail experience with partners and event attendees in 560 minutes. The team also enjoyed the opportunity to try nearly 24 new local dishes, despite many arguments over the temperature of the car’s air conditioning. In the end, they made countless contacts with new and existing partners.

    In the Connected Retail Tour The aim was to literally go the “extra mile” and show how accessible and easy Zalando’s digital solution “Connected Retail” can be for brick-and-mortar retail stores while at the same time preparing them for a successful future. The new VW Multivan has been transformed into a mobile showroom to give current and potential partners a first-hand look at how the platform bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds of retail with a fun, animated and interactive concept.

    The Connected Retail Tour in figures

    • 121 days on the way
    • More than 40 team members on board
    • Drank 150 cups of coffee
    • 8 runs per playlist
    • 20 air conditioner temperature disputes
    • Tried 24 local dishes
    • 560 minutes of presentations
    • Befriended 22 sheep along the way
    • Countless new contacts made

    The Connected Retail Tour in Germany

    In June and July, the Connected Retail Tour stopped in Berlin and Bielefeld. In Hamburg, they visited the merchandise shop at St Pauli Stadium to meet the team behind one of the first football brands to partner with Connected Retail earlier this year. The mobile Connected Retail Showroom provided a great eye-catcher at the entrance to the KATAG executive conference in Bielefeld, which was attended by more than 400 retailers, before the van continued on to Berlin, where it was located right next to the Funkturm, the landmark of Messe Berlin, during PREMIUM Berlin. was to be found. The team invited attendees to the event to take a break in the Buyer’s Coffee Lounge and find out how connected retail could work for them.

    Knut Brokelmann, Chief Sales Officer of KATAG AG: “Events like the KATAG Executive Conference always offer our partners valuable insights. The future and digitization of retail can only be shaped together. We are very pleased that Connected Retail is once again present as an event partner this year.” The Connected Retail Tour in partnership with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles was a complete success. The vans were the perfect conversation starter, meeting partners and showcasing retailers the benefits of Connected Retail.