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Alza History - Then and Now

Catalogue

Alza was established more than two decades ago and first started trading as Alzasoft back in 1994. It became a market leader in 2008 and has received several prestigious awards over the years in recognition of the quality service it offers to millions of customers. It is now a purely Czech joint stock company, with its tax domicile also in the Czech Republic. It is owned by a group of investors through the holding company L.S. Investments Limited.

Alza's Annual Turnover in Millions of Euro (Excluding VAT)

Annual Turnover of Alza in Millions of Euro

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
obrat 9.80 12.56 28.18 40.86 56.63 82.78 129.54 160.52 225.78 274.34 304.50 349.89 417.69 529 643.97 820
*non-audited turnover. Figures exclude VAT.

The Alza Timeline

  • 2018Future Concept Store and Delivery Services
    • A new future concept store was opened in Prague. Two other similar stores were also opened at the end of the year.
    • Litecion cryptocurrency was added as a payment method
    • Alza celebrated its 500th year membership in the APEK organisation
    • Senec, Slovakia logistics centre opened a new branch for oversized items
    • Alza added the possibility to buy cryptocurrency at given participating PayBoxes and CardBoxes
    • New showroom opened in Budapest, Hungary
    • Launched the privately-owned Alza Power brand
    • Alza has over 2000 employees
    • Smart Kitchen corner opened in the Bratislava, Slovakia showroom
    • Alza supported over 60 nonprofit organisations
    • Black Friday record was yet again beat by selling over  €77 million within two weeks
    • Alza opened over 1800 collection points
    • Alza launched a new Alza Gaming project
  • 2017Electromobility and BTC Payment Method Launched
    • In 2017, Alza served over 2.9 million unique customers
    • Black Friday daily turnover exceeded €7.7 million for the first time in the company's history
    • More than 7.9 million orders were handled - almost 30% of them were made from mobile devices
    • Launched online sales of electric vehicles (Tesla, BMW i3 or StreetScooter)
    • Alza began to deliver orders with the electric vans from Voltia
    • Opened new Regional Headquarters in Ostrava (Czech Republic)
    • Opened the first store in Austria and a new showroom in Hungary
    • 49 outlets and 78 Alza Boxes were available to customers throughout operating countries
    • Handled over 1.2 million customer requests - 600 thousand calls and almost 600 thousand written requests
    • Bitcoin payment was initiated
    • Created an E-commerce course at the Prague University of Economics
    • Over 1,500 employees
    • Seven e-shop segments exceeded an annual turnover of €38.7 million
    • A unique Smart Home exhibition and a free professional photo-video studio was created in Prague
    • Lunched the revolutionary 1/3 Payment Method service
    • New interactive IVR was dubbed by Bohdan Tůma
    • Supported more than 40 nonprofit organisations
  • 2016A Year of Innovation and Records Broken
    • Day sales record broken – on 19th December, customers bought more than €7.4 million worth of goods
    • Sales of over €37 million in a single week – the historical record was broken mid-December
    • First store outside of the Czech Republic and Slovakia opened in Budapest
    • Mobile Alza StreetShop vans travel throughout the Czech Republic region
    • Third edition of Alza Awards was hosted, with SONY PlayStation VR winning Product of the Year 2016
    • Extended upgrade programs for top smartphones, laptops and computers
    • New city-centre showroom opened in Bratislava, bringing the total number of stores to 51
    • Weekend delivery service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia was introduced
    • Stores extended opening hours to include weekends
    • Helló, Alzak vagyok! Alza.hu launched for Hungarian customers
    • Second wave of Alza Venture investments, with approx. €7.4 million invested for start-ups
    • Introduced an iPhone upgrading program to the Czech Republic
    • Introduced a new affiliate program for partners
    • New and improved delivery service in the UK, Germany and Hungary
    • Improved warranty claims service in the UK – reverse logistics centre in Hounslow, Middlesex for faster claim resolvement
  • 2015Logistics, Sales and Delivery Network Innovations
    • Record turnover of €529 million (without VAT) with a 24% year-on-year growth
    • Awarded the Most Trusted Brand of the Year
    • Won the Internet Trader of the Year Award in Slovakia from MasterCard
    • Second place awarded for the Internet Trader of the Year Award in the Czech Republic from MasterCard
    • Cyber Monday discounts introduced
    • Established full ownership of Publero
    • Hosted the second edition of Alza Awards
    • Established the Alza Premium membership club
    • Launched AlzaVenture project to support start-ups
    • Started to support e-books for the Motol Faculty Hospital in Prague
    • Alza TechZone opens for gaming fans and hi-tech enthusiasts
    • Alza Boxes opened in Burger King fast food outlets
    • Supported by the most trusted EV certification
    • International Microsoft president opened a new Xbox One Zone at Alza
    • New MAXI drugstore product category introduced
    • Network of self-service Alza Boxes extended throughout the Czech Republic
    • Introduced the improved EDI electronic communication system
    • Brand new distribution centre in Senec, Slovakia
    • Hundreds of new jobs at Alza throughout Slovakia
    • Second place in the Retailer of the Year award for Central and Eastern Europe
    • Alza Boxes opened throughout KFC fast food outlets
  • 2014Development of Customer Service and Responsible Business
    • Maintained 45 stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and opened 3 new showrooms
    • Won the Shop of the Year 2014 Competition – Quality Award
    • Alza's 20th birthday and the first annual Alza Flying Objects Award (Czech Republic)
    • Created AlzaMedia for phones and tablets (Czech Republic)
    • Best E-commerce Applications Award 2014 (Czech Republic)
    • Won the Image Prize in the Rhodos Competition (Czech Republic)
    • Expanded to 26 countries throughout Europe
    • As part of an Alza campaign, Czech Republic and Slovakia were handed antivirus licenses valued at €14.7 million
    • Strengthened position in electronic media with a majority stake in Publero and extended the Alza Media offerings of periodicals and eBooks
    • Opened the first Apple Shop in Central and Eastern Europe
    • A network of Alza Boxes were launched throughout Prague and Central Bohemia 
    • Continued membership in ALL STARS – the Top Ten most admired companies in the Czech Republic
    • Offered the new AlzaExpress – a fast delivery service using a fleet of the company's own vehicles
    • Launched Alza Credit – the fastest and most secure way to shop on Alza
    • Won the MasterCard Internet Marketer of the year 2013 in the Czech Republic, and victory in the first edition of the same competition in Slovakia
    • Continued development of social responsibility and community support in NGO projects
  • 2013Continuous Innovation and €349.89 Million Turnover

    Records were broken once again during 2013. Over 3 million orders were processed, and a turnover in excess of €349 million was achieved. Alza was evaluated by more than 300 advertising and marketing experts as the most promising Czech brand. The company shared second place in the official ranking of the most successful Czech brands.

    The whole year was marked by innovation, leading to increased customer satisfaction:

    • Invested €2 million in the expansion of logistics technology in the central warehouse
    • Introduced same day delivery service throughout the Czech Republic on all orders placed by 11:00
    • Expanded the branch network, including the addition of the company's 40th branch
    • Continued branch expansion in Slovakia, and doubled warehouse space in Bratislava
    • Launched a customer reward system called "Alza coins"
    • Introduced modern QR codes and new payment options, including the worldwide popular PayPal payment method
    • Developed a new online computer repair service developed to help customers from the comfort of their own home
    • Expanded the range of electronic and audio books to over 7000 titles
    • Continual improvements to the Alza mobile app for both Android and iOS
    • Evaluated by more than 300 advertising and marketing experts as the most promising Czech brand
  • 2012Over €304 Million Turnover

    Ranking among the most successful years to date, the company achieved a turnover of €304.5 million. It fulfilled over 2.5 million orders, sold more than 250,000 laptops, PCs and tablets, and officially launched the revolutionary AlzaDrive service, which allows customers to shop without leaving their vehicles.

    Sales continued to grow in traditional IT commodities, along with massive interest in televisions, electronics, home appliances, electronic licenses and toys.

    Thanks to superb cooperation with suppliers, it was possible to offer a richer selection of tablets, ultrabooks, electronic readers and smart TVs to customers. The company also launched a range of highly anticipated products, including the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Windows 8, Diablo 3 game and Apple iPad Mini.

    • 33 branches opened and running
    • Expanded and modernised the flagship showroom in Prague 7 - Holešovice
    • Initiated the unique AlzaDrive service in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
    • Won of Shop of the Year 2012, "Crystal Zoom" 2012, and Mastercard Retailer of the year 2012 awards
    • Annual sales growth by 13.5% to €305 million
    • Over 2.5 million orders processed
  • 201112 Months, 12 New Branches

    Further expansion of the branch network in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the biggest achievement of the year being in Slovakia with the opening of brand new headquarters (1,100m) in Bratislava.

    The company expanded its product range offering a number of new home electronics and large household appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. Orders for the year increased by 31% to 2.4 million, with sales growth increasing by 21% to €274.34 million. The title of Shop of the Year in the category "Price Quality - Department Stores" was won.

    • Opened 6 Czech and 6 Slovak branches
    • Won the Shop of the Year Award in the Quality Category - Department Stores
    • Annual orders increased 31% to 2.4 million orders
    • Annual sales growth 21% to €274 million
  • 2010New Logistics Warehouse in Horní Počernice, Czech Republic

    In Autumn 2010, the company significantly expanded its warehouse space by adding a new logistics warehouse in Horní Počernice. Over the course of the year, the company expanded its network of branches to include the cities of Jihlava, Zlín, Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Olomouc, Liberec and České Budějovice, in addition to more branches in Prague, giving it an outlet in every regional capital. It opened 8 branches in total.

    • Built a new logistics warehouse in Horní Počernice, Czech Republic
    • Won the HP Partner of the Year for largest HP reseller
    • Achieved 2nd place in the Internet Trading award in the "Crystal Zoom" competition
    • Annual orders increased by 61% to 1.9 million
    • Annual sales growth increased by 34% to €226 million
  • 2009Modern Showroom and Warehouse Expansion

    Although the year was marked by the global economic crisis, the company sold over €37 million worth of goods in the first three months of this year, strengthening its market position on the computer and electronics market. This resulted in a significant expansion of the portfolio offering, providing a greater variety in consumer electronics and toys.

    Alza hosted a number of special events to promote environment responsibility and to educate its customers. One event promoting the importance of recycling computers and electronics proved to be a huge success, with thousands of people bringing their old computers, TVs and scrap metal to be recycled.

    In response to customer demand, the warehouse was expanded to occupy 5,160m2 , the facilities at the Prague headquarters were significantly increased and modernised, and a unique showroom was opened showcasing the best in computers and electronics. New branches were also opened in strategic locations to offer better service to customers in various regions in the Czech Republic.

    The number of employees reached 270 by the end of 2009, and the number of products on offer exceeded 30,000 items. Over 1.14 million orders were received, and 3 orders were being processed every minute averaging at around €167.20.

    • Opened a modern showroom in Prague
    • Opened 5 new branches 
    • Expanded to a 5,160m2 warehouse
    • Won the HP Partner of the Year for largest HP reseller
    • 1.4 million orders
    • €160.5 million turnover
    • 4 million monthly visits on the eShop
  • 2008Alza the Alien is Born

    In May 2008, the company completely rebranded to Alza.cz in the Czech Republic, and Alza.sk in Slovakia, and a new store was opened in Brno. In the Czech Republic, the number of employees exceeded 200 for the first time.

    Alza ventured into new advertising formats and media with its new mascot the Alza Alien, and held its first official press conference in Prague during October where it announced its business results and vision for the future. The year ended with a turnover reaching €129.5 million, and a 40% year-on-year increase.

    This year also marked the winnings of many prestigious awards, including the GE Money Multiservice Retailer of the Year and HP Partner of the Year, formally confirming  the company's position as a Czech market leader.

    • Renamed to Alza.cz a. s.
    • Store opening in Brno
    • 200 employees
    • New mascot: "Alzak" the Alza alien 
    • New 5,160 m2 warehouse
    • Won the HP Partner of the Year award
    • Turnover of €129.5 million
  • 2007Moving and Alza PayBox Terminals

    In direct response to the dynamic growth of orders, the company moved to larger premises in Prague, occupying a 300m2 showroom and expanding to 500m2 storage space. The number of products available exceeded 13,000 items, with the option to purchase them using online terminals in the showroom.

    The revolutionary Alza PayBox payment machines were introduced to the showroom to accelerate the purchasing process, and automate the dispensing of goods. Opening hours were also extended from 8:00 to 20:00, 7 days a week. The number of employees rose to 130.

    An automatic billing service was introduced to allow online ordering at any time of the day and delivery services were improved. The online payment system was launched and more products were added to the total offering.

    Philanthropic efforts were continued this year as Alza partnered up with the One World Festival. There was also an increase in marketing efforts with billboard, TV, radio, and magazine campaigns.

    • New premises in Prague
    • Over 13,000 products in the catalogue
    • Launched the Alza Paybox payment machines
    • Extended the store opening hours
    • 130 employees
    • Turnover increased to €82.78 million
  • 2006Alzasoft Becomes Alza.cz

    Continuous improvements led the total number of employees rise to 80, thousands of orders were dispatched daily, delivery times were significantly reduced and the product range exceeded 10,000 items. The increasingly popular instalment payment service was enhanced making it possible to purchase online without having to visit the store. A radical acceleration and clarity of output from the warehouse brought electronic merchandise records.

    The major change was seen when Alzasoft adopted the informal name given to it by its customers. To coincide with the rebranding from Alzasoft.cz to Alza.cz, a new version of the website was launched in several languages.

    Charity work was continued and the company started a close relationship with the Hands for Help to equip a field hospital in Pakistan.

    • 80 employees
    • Over 10,000 products in the catalogue
    • Turnover of €56.6 million
    • Rebranded to Alza.cz
    • New eShop launched
  • 2005New Services Growth

    This year was marked by further improvement, service expansion and sales growth. New features were introduced to improve the shopping experience, such as the ability to pay by card, send goods by mail and buy gift certificates. Opening hours were extended to 20:00 and stores remained opened on the weekends during the Christmas season.

    The company started charitable work with people in need (www.clovekvtisni.cz/en), as well as various foundations and orphanages. Annual turnover crossed €40 million.

    • Turnover exceeded €40 million
    • New services
    • Charitable involvement
  • 2004Became a Joint-Stock Company

    Becoming a joint-stock company from the 1st of January brought with it a large number of changes and benefits to customers. The company significantly transformed its internal organisation and focused on the absolute customer satisfaction. A professional and personal customer approach was adopted across every department. Satisfying customer needs and setting high standards for warranty claim resolution became a priority.

    The company also entered the Slovakian market and introduced a number of new services including an online warranty claims service. Warehouse space expanded to 1600m2 was and a new shipping company partnership was formed which dramatically reduced prices and improved quality of the delivery service in Prague. Profits almost doubled by the end of the year.

    • Transitioned to become a joint-stock company
    • Expanded to Slovakia
    • Warehouse expanded to occupy 1,600 m2
  • 2003The Calm After the Storm

    The company gradually stabilised after the natural disaster, making a number of improvements to internal processes, warehouse management and logistics. The eShop continued to expand its functionality along with the number of products offered. The annual turnover grew to €12.56 million.

    • Stabilised after the floods in Prague
  • 2002A New Shop and the Infamous Floods

    The upgraded version of the eShop was upended by the devastating floods of August 2002. Thanks to the enormous commitment of the Alza staff, sales resumed 4 days after the floods. Customers took the limitations in their stride, and Alza managed to get the site running again using electricity generators and the mobile network.

    Christmas was again marked by a huge influx of customers. The site was improved to show a variety of useful data such as product availability, delivery date times, compatibility and order tracking.

  • 2001Improving Services and Features

    This year was marked by improvement, an increase in personnel and the expansion of the sales, service and warehouse space. New features were added to the eShop ensuring customers could easily source all the information they needed about products and services.

  • 2000First eShop Launched

    The first version of the eShop was introduced to the public, and at the company moved to new retail premises in Prague. Another wave of new customers were gained during this term, along with a welcomed increase in custom from professionals, hardware experts and companies.

  • 1999Most Visited Website

    The company continued to grow, as did its range of products and warehouse stock. A new service was introduced which guaranteed the delivery of goods within 24 hours throughout the Czech Republic. These steps introduced new customers to the company from outside of Prague. In comparison to the previous year, the average monthly turnover had now tripled. Although still relatively young, the company's website www.alza.cz, featured in the top five most visited IT sites on the Czech Internet. The website offered value and prices to rival its competitors. This year also seen the start of a dealer channel service.

  • 1998First Store Opened in Prague

    A wave of new customers discovered the company when it opened its first brick and mortar store in Prague. It focused on students, customers with IT knowledge and those who appreciated the availability and attractive pricing of computer components.

    Adopting a personal and flexible customer approach, the company witnessed a rapid increase in turnover by the latter part of the year.

  • 1997Merchandise in Stock

    The introduction of new advertising materials featuring items for sale that were in stock and ready for collection. This was a revolutionary step for the company which generated interest and an increase in custom.

  • 1995 - 96Alzasoft for Students

    Alzasoft became a popular choice for students, with customers being introduced to the company via advertising campaigns targeting student residences and educational establishments throughout the country.

  • 1994Established

    The history of the company dates back to the 29th of November 1994, when Mr. Aleš Zavoral officially announced the company's arrival on the young Czech IT market after receiving his business license.

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