Zimmerli: “Digitization and e-commerce secure our long-term future”

George Clooney, Sylvester Stallone and Hugh Jackman – just some of the names on the role call of customers at Zimmerli of Switzerland. The Swiss textile company has been producing high-quality underwear for women and men since 1871. Since the end of 2014, Zimmerli has also been selling its products digitally via its own eBoutique – with great success.

For almost 150 years, Zimmerli of Switzerland has been producing high-quality collections for women and men.
For almost 150 years, Zimmerli of Switzerland has been producing high-quality collections for women and men.

“E-commerce is becoming very important for us, and the eBoutique now accounts for 13 percent of total sales,” CEO Marcel Hossli tells us with pride. Switzerland accounts for most of Zimmerli’s online clothing sales, followed by Germany and the USA. According to the textile company, Switzerland is also number one for conventional sales. It is interesting how differently things pan out in Germany and the USA, however. Germany is well behind Switzerland for conventional sales, but digital sales are almost at the same level as the domestic market. The US actually occupies 3rd place, but has a much lower position when it comes to offline sales. “Digitization is an opportunity for smaller companies like Zimmerli. We are suddenly gaining more traction on the global market,” says Marcel Hossli. Digitization and its associated 24-hour presence allow constant acquisition of new customers worldwide, Hossli explains. 

Digitization means a new business model

For Zimmerli, creating a digital business also meant developing a new business model. The textile company worked for about ten months on the eBoutique and drew on numerous staffing resources during this time. “We had to build up the skills, because such a project requires professionalism,” says the CEO. “Only those who choose a professional approach and are willing to budget for it can be successful.”

Marcel Hossli wants Zimmerli to stick with the digital strategy in the future as well. He intends to expand it further and increase online sales. This measure is not only timely for him, but also a way to safeguard the future of the company and its roughly 75 employees: “We see digitization and e-commerce as an opportunity to secure our long-term future.”

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