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Undercover journalist investigates German retailer Zalando

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Wed, 14/05/2014 - 20:19
Ted Marzilli

First Amazon, now Zalando. An undercover investigation by an RTL journalist revealing poor working conditions in the warehouses of the fashion mail-order company Zalando has created a media-storm in Germany. ‘Pickers’ were to walk several kilometers per day to collect goods from shelves, their activities rigidly directed by a computer schedule with everything following the strictest protocols. The story was circulated under the hashtag ‘#Sklavando’ – a combination of the German words for ‘slave’ and ‘Zalando’.

Zalando’s first Facebook post only served to fan the flames, ‘Puh, emotions are running high, guess we’ll just have to live with it”. Zalanda showed notable losses on their Buzz and Reputation metrics, and some reduction in Purchase Consideration – a strong indicator of likely future purchase.

Similar criticism of Amazon concerning working conditions in their German warehouses back in February 2013 provides a comparison to the current crisis.

Amazon experienced a much greater drop in perception scores than Zalando, with a 50 point dip in Buzz scores ("If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"), and a 18 point drop in Recommend scores (“Which of the following stores would you recommend to a friend or colleague”). From a strong 36 point Buzz score before the crisis, Amazon is still now only hovering around the neutral zero mark. Amazon even saw a decline in their Value perception, which has yet to fully recover.

So far Zalando’s descent has been swift but not as spectacular as that of Amazon. They have seen a 13 point drop in Buzz scores and an 11 point drop in Recommend scores. Their purchase consideration scores have dropped from 14% to 12%.

Buzz: Zalando (Germany)
Buzz: Zalando
Recommend: Zalando (Germany)
Recommend: Zalando
Buzz: Amazon (Germany)
Buzz: Amazon
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