Admin expansion

Germany's Retail HQ Boom

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The spurt in new construction of administrative buildings indicates the rapid expansion of Germany’s retail sector.

  • Facts


    • Online retailer Zalando, grocers Aldi Nord and Lidl, drugstore chain DM and organic firm Alnatura are all building new HQs.
    • Zalando’s new campus in Berlin will accommodate about 5,000 employees.
    • Alnatura’s HQ will be Europe’s largest office building made of clay.
  • Audio


  • Pdf
Inside Aldi Nord's planned new headquarters, one of several German retail groups investing in new offices. Source: Aldi handout

The video begins with a black-and-white image of John F. Kennedy. The former U.S. president is standing in front of the town hall in the West Berlin district of Schöneberg giving a speech that will go down in history: “I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner!”

But in the video President Kennedy’s message sounds a little different: “Zalando is ein Berliner!” The statement is followed by high-speed footage of a trip past the city’s Victory Column and Potsdamer Platz, and across the Oberbaum Bridge into the offices of the online fashion retailer, with its spectacular view of the iconic Television Tower.

Zalando produced the video specifically to introduce its latest major architectural project. The company is building the new Zalando Campus in the city’s Friedrichshain neighborhood, where new office space will be provided for about 5,000 employees. The centerpiece is a futuristic building with a curved façade, scheduled for completion in 2018 and intended to solve a serious problem for the online fashion retailer: space.

Zalando has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2008 in a Berlin apartment. But the firm is not the only company paying architectural tribute to the successes of recent years. A number of other retailers are also in the midst of major development projects.

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