An Update from GFG’s Management Board on COVID-19

In these uncertain times, we are humbled by how our teams across diverse markets and cultures have come together as one global community, to support each other, our customers and our business partners.

Like everyone, we are trying to understand a situation that evolves so dynamically from one day to the next. Given our global presence we observe the different stages of COVID-19’s spread, its impact on people, communities, fashion & lifestyle retail and ecommerce, as well as government actions first hand. As a company with people at its core, our promise in these unprecedented times is to do our best to help our employees, customers and brand partners. We wanted to update you on some of the ways in which we are doing this.

Our People
Our priority is the safety and well-being of our over 12,500 employees. Much of the work we do cannot be done from home, so we’ve implemented a series of preventative health, safety and hygiene measures across our fulfilment centers, delivery infrastructure, contact centers, photo studios and offices around the world. Our dedicated Global COVID-19 Task Force is constantly monitoring and adapting our approach, which reflects (and often goes above and beyond) local government and World Health Organisation guidelines to ensure our people, who depend on us for an income, can continue to work in the safest possible way. These measures include:

  • Rapid response process where an employee may have been exposed to COVID-19, including full contact tracing and quarantine for those who may have been in close contact.
  • Split working for all employees who continue to work on site, including our fulfilment centres, ensuring physical distancing across all aspects of daily work. We have also increased the standards of cleaning and sanitation by providing necessary hygienic products to all employees.
  • Adapting our delivery process in line with local and international health guidelines and providing necessary hygienic support products to protect our in-house delivery fleet.
  • Across our 19 offices, working from home is our default way of working. This includes all of our customer contact centre employees.
  • All employees who identify as a high risk group or who feel at all strained or unwell are entitled to paid time off.

Our Customers
Providing an inspiring and seamless online shopping experience, is the core of what we do. We are therefore adapting and evolving our offering to meet the changing needs of our customers in the current situation and exploring how we can utilise our ecommerce supply chain to help local communities:

  • Our customer communications across app, web, social and email have been adapted to inspire and support our community who will be spending a lot more time at home.
  • We are adjusting our assortment to bring the most relevant products to our customers. This includes new essentials categories to support their well-being and lifestyle needs to make them feel more comfortable and happy staying at home.
  • We are ensuring the safety of deliveries by adapting to customer needs in this new reality, including contactless delivery, adjustments to payment methods and adherence to local and international health guidelines for all aspects of the delivery process.
  • We remain as accessible to our customers as ever: our apps and websites remain open and our contact centres are on hand to help our customers in these uncertain times.

Our Brand Partners
We are working collaboratively with our partners through difficulties that are felt across the whole industry. We are committed to making sure whatever decisions we take, work for both of us:

  • We are collaborating with our brand partners to evolve our ways of working leveraging flexible business models that will enable us to be more adaptable and resilient.
  • Together, we are working to bring an ever-growing assortment of the most relevant products to customers through our Marketplace platforms and we are accelerating this work.
  • We anticipate that there will be an industry-wide overstock situation due to decline in demand in key markets and we intend to be well positioned to partner with brands to manage this issue.

In 2011 we set out to bring fashion & lifestyle ecommerce to some of the most early stage markets globally. Today more than ever, ecommerce businesses are providing an important service to people everywhere and we are committed to being a part of this.

In this way, despite the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our vision to be the #1 online fashion & lifestyle destination in growth markets remains unchanged. There is still a huge market potential to capture, which has always required adaptivity to succeed. We have deep relationships with over 12,500 of our people around the world, our 13 million Active Customers as well as strong ties with our 10,000 brand partners. Even in these difficult circumstances, we are confident that the measures and actions we have in place and continue to adapt, will allow us to continue implementing our strategy.

With our people, customers and brand partners, we believe we will all come out of this crisis more united and stronger than ever before.

The GFG Management Board 

Christoph Barchewitz, Matthew Price, Patrick Schmidt