Hamburg, Germany, 14-3-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — In the past financial year the Otto Group generated online turnover of over 6 billion euros worldwide according to initial forecasts, some 400 million more than in the previous year. Through its ‘Mobil First’ initiative the retail and services group intends to benefit from the growing trend towards smartphones and tablets and to generate half of its online traffic via these mobile terminals by 2016.
With its over 100 online shops worldwide the Otto Group was able to set a benchmark in the dynamic online retail sector once again in the 2013/14 financial year: according to initial forecasts as at 28.02.14 the retail and services group succeeded in raising global online turnover with its existing business by around 400 mn€ to over 6 bn€, which corresponds to growth of 7.6 per cent. The Group even achieved growth of 7.8 per cent or some 290 mn€ in its domestic German market to reach around 4 bn€. These figures emphasize the Otto Group’s outstanding market position as the world’s second-largest online retailer and Europe’s largest online retailer in the end-customer fashion and lifestyle sector.
“At the Otto Group we are delighted with the turnover increases we have achieved”, stresses Dr Rainer Hillebrand, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board Otto Group, “as we have struck a healthy balance between sound growth and satisfactory earnings development.” In particular, in many of its core businesses the Group achieved outstanding earnings in e-commerce over the last year. As publicly announced several times, the Otto Group is charting a different course to that of the majority of its competitors by paying close attention to maintaining sustainable, value-orientated growth in new activities after the usual start-up losses.
Up to 2015 the Otto Group is to invest around 300 mn€ in e-commerce as part of a three-year plan. In 2014, major investment capital will also be channelled into corresponding initiatives in the areas of technology (at OTTO), multichannel networking (SportScheck), service (Yapital) as well as venture capital (Project A and eVentures). In the Internet Pure Player (IPP) investment segment, amongst other initiatives Hillebrand has announced the launch of ‘Collins’, an online ecosystem with several specialist shops for young, fashion-conscious women. The official launch date is 5 May.
Alongside this the Otto Group continues to drive the expansion of its mobile commerce activities. An exclusive study carried out in partnership with Google shows the increasing significance of mobile end-terminals in consumers’ day-to-day lives. In Germany alone every second citizen now owns a smartphone – that’s an increase of 26 per cent on the previous year. The increase is a whopping 39 per cent with tablets, which means that every fifth German citizen now uses a device in this class.
Dr Hillebrand presents the Otto Group-wide initiative ‘Mobile First’: “It is clear that the trend towards mobile terminals is spurring us on to implement a sustainable mobile strategy. Smartphones and tablets enable a highly personalised, impulse-driven shopping experience that more and more consumers are clamouring for. Our target is to generate 50 per cent of our online traffic across all our mobile brands by 2016”, says Hillebrand, who holds responsibility on the Otto Group Executive Board for e-commerce activities. Already today some of the online shops are reporting up to 40 per cent of their visits via smartphones and tablets. With services such as Yapital, the first European cross-channel payment solution, the Otto Group is covering further relevant links in the mobile value chain.
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Founded in Germany in 1949, today the Otto Group is a globally operating retail and services group with around 53,800 employees (as at February 2013). The Group includes 123 major companies and is present in over 20 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its business activities are grouped into three segments: Multichannel Retail, Financial Services and Service. In the 2012/13 financial year (to 28 February), the Otto Group generated turnover of 11.8 billion euros. It is the world’s second-largest online retailer and the largest online retailer for fashion and lifestyle in Europe in the end-consumer business (B2C).
E-commerce, catalogue sales and over-the-counter retail are the three pillars of the Otto Group’s Multichannel Retail strategy. Worldwide corporate activities and a variety of strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent opportunities for know-how transfer and leveraging available synergy potential. Group companies operate largely independently, guaranteeing flexibility, customer proximity and optimum target-group appeal in their respective country markets.