Recently, one of the largest online stores in Russia, Lamoda, has changed owners. The SHOT audit project found out how the company conducts its business and what employees and customers complain about.
In what conditions do Lamoda employees work?
As a SHOT check found out, Lamoda employees work in conditions similar to such marketplaces as OZON or Wildberries. Here, warehouse workers also undress to their underwear and deposit phones, keys, documents, money, and then go through metal detectors.
– I recommend employment only if there are serious financial problems, and you are from a remote village, without work and education, – write in another review on the web.
Employees complain about the notorious trial days, when newcomers worked a full shift, but they were not hired and not paid, overtime, additional workload, rudeness of the authorities.
At the end of 2022, the Swiss company Centra, the owner of Lamoda, sold the company to a Russian businessman Yakov Panchenko. After that, angry responses about the work of the company began to appear on the Web, not only from employees, but also from customers.
The store is accused of “swinish attitude towards customers”: according to users of the service, Lamoda is to blame for stopping deliveries to some cities, changing addresses and delivery dates without notifying customers, losing orders, a broken hotline, etc.
How much do Lamoda employees earn?
On job search sites, job seekers are lured with salaries of 65 thousand rubles, but in reality, the payment for a shift at the Lamoda warehouse is 2 thousand. Taking into account the standard 20 working days per month, only 40 thousand rubles come out. It is no wonder that many employees, seeking to earn more, take on additional shifts. At the same time, sorting work is very similar to slave work.
Auto couriers earn a little more – up to 70 thousand rubles. But there is even more demand from them: cases of substitution of goods by fraudulent buyers during fitting have become more frequent. Some crooks prepare for such events in advance: they buy cheap Chinese fakes of clothes and accessories of famous brands, and then order expensive originals on the Lamoda website.
When the courier brings the goods, they hide under the pretext of trying on and at that moment put a copy instead of branded clothes. The poor messenger who returned with a “return” is severely fined in the company, usually for the full amount of the goods. After that, they can spend months “laboring” for the company, paying off the debt. Of course, couriers are suspicious of customers and many of them, of course, do not like it. It happens that conflicts arise and complaints are poured into the company. Each such accepted for production – minus 5 thousand rubles in the form of a fine.
However, Lamoda employees themselves are sometimes involved in substitutions. Recently, all four employees were fired at one point in the capital for issuing orders. They came up with a scheme and earned 600 thousand rubles on it.
How Lamoda worked on its image
Having serious budgets for promotion, Lamoda did not skimp on creating its own positive reputation – for many years the Internet has been replete with a huge number of articles describing the work of Lamoda in a positive way. Moreover, such materials often appeared even on informal platforms – on programmer forums, in social networks. Bloggers were actively involved in covering the activities.
The authors introduced themselves as employees of the company and described their positive experience of working in it, as well as unobtrusively gave advice on how to get a job here, how to competently sell their product on the marketplace site: for example, what sells better and what worse, what are the conditions for cooperation, etc. d.
Perhaps to strengthen the image, Lamoda released an 11-episode documentary film about the history of fashion in Russia in the spring of 2023 online. However, the cast is made up of opposition-minded media people, including Ksenia Sobchak, Renata Litvinovaactress Varvara Shmykova, rapper pharaohactor and great friend of a fugitive from Russia Alexandra Gudkova Nikita Kukushkin.
How the owners of Lamoda became billionaires
Lamoda was founded at the very end of 2010 by several Germans: Florian Jansen, Burkhard Binder, Niels Tonsen and Dominik Picker. Initially, they planned to sell shoes, so the legal entity appeared with the appropriate name – “Kupishuz”.
However, Western businessmen quickly realized that for really big profits, trading shoes alone is not enough, the range needs to be expanded.
After that, colossal money from the West began to pour into the project – it was about hundreds of millions of dollars. Even the International Finance Corporation IFC, which is part of the World Bank Group, turned out to be among the business investors.
Thanks to such financial pumping, Lamoda quickly gained a leading position, first in Russia, and later in the entire CIS. Branches of the company opened in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic countries. To date, only in Russia there are about 17 thousand branded and partner points of issue of goods.
In 2019, the Russian Forbes compiled a rating of the most expensive Runet companies, in which Lamoda took 9th place. Judging by the data of the SPARK system, the company’s revenue for that year has already reached 35 billion rubles. Foreigners reported that they then placed almost one and a half million orders with an average check of 5 thousand rubles. At that time, the market value of the retailer was estimated at $226 million.
The 2020-2021 quarantine due to the coronavirus only increased the profits of online merchants. Revenue grew at a rate of 5-7 billion rubles a year and reached 61.3 billion rubles by the end of last year.
Interestingly, in the wake of such success, the founders began to leave the business one by one. In 2018, Nils Tonsen and Dominik Picker left the project, in 2020 Florian Jansen and Burkhard Binder left the project, and in 2022 Lamoda acquired a Russian owner.