FRANKFURT, Oct 18 (Reuters) - German online retailer Zalando expects to double sales to more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) this year, extending its lead over UK rival ASOS Plc as Europe's largest online fashion site, it said on Thursday.
Zalando, founded in 2008 and which brought JP Morgan and private equity firm Quadrant on board in the summer as investors to help finance its expansion, operates in 14 countries across Europe but is not feeling any effects from the debt crisis, a spokesman said.
"You always need clothes," the spokesman said, adding that Zalando's focus was now on investing in infrastructure.
Others have not been so lucky. Sportswear maker Puma SE and Metro AG, which runs supermarkets, cash and carries, consumer electronics and department stores, have warned on 2012 profits as European shoppers hold back.
Zalando, which sells shoes and clothes from over 1,000 brands, said its net sales had reached 471 million euros in the first six months of 2012 and it expected to double last year's total of 510 million euros.
ASOS, which mostly targets young women, had sales of 538 million pounds ($870 million) in the year through August, a rise of 38 percent.
Online retailers are currently outstripping their bricks-and-mortar rivals in Germany, where many retailers have been slow to shift to Internet shopping.
Metro, which runs Europe's largest consumer electronics retailer, finally managed to offer a full online shop for its MediaMarkt and Saturn stores only this year and Douglas Holdings AG is in the process of restructuring its bookstore chain to battle competition from Amazon.Com Inc.
German fashion retailer Tom Tailor Holding AG also said on Thursday sales via its web store rose 60 percent in the third-quarter, compared with a like-for-like sales rise of 4 percent for the group as a whole.
The comments from Zalando, which has not yet made a profit, came as investor Kinnevik said it had spent 287 million euros to buy a further 10 percent stake in the company.
That makes the Swedish investment firm the largest single shareholder with a direct stake of 26 percent, plus an indirect 9 percent stake held via venture capital firm Rocket Internet.