Jan 27, 2021
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Freemans owner Otto Group sees soaring e-commerce sales

Jan 27, 2021

Otto Group, the German retail giant that also owns the UK’s Freemans and Grattan operations, said on Wednesday that initial forecasts indicate it will close the 2020/21 financial year with online revenues of about €10 billion.


That’s up from €8.1 billion in the financial year to the end of February 2020 and shows that the company was clearly one of the winners from the pandemic in the past 12 months.

Around £6.9 billion of the latest year’s figure will have been generated in Germany, up from €5.7 billion in the previous period.

And the company expects more good news in the current year with a forecast of global e-commerce revenue rising 23% and Germany rising 22%.

It said that changes in consumer behaviour are driving the rise, along with its own strong focus on digital for its various group companies.

Sebastian Klauke, Executive Board Member responsible for e-commerce, technology, business intelligence and corporate ventures, said: “We have very rigorously and successfully pushed ahead with the digital transformation of the Otto Group in recent years – at all levels and across all sales channels. In doing so, we have laid the foundation for these really gratifying figures in e-commerce.”

He said that can be seen from the addition of more than 1,000 new partner companies in the course of implementing its new platform model in the current financial year alone. Over the whole of 2020, Otto also gained nearly two million additional active customers with the German platform seeing a 30% year-on-year rise.

As far as key categories in the past year are concerned, the company said wearable technology (such as smartwatches) has been buoyant with 100% growth, while furniture and home accessories as well as technology and multimedia also continue to be in high demand.

It was encouraging too that it said: “After challenging months and declining sales in the first half of the financial year, the textile trade has been increasingly upbeat since early autumn.”

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