In the first six months of 2020, Otto Group, one of Germany’s largest e-commerce companies, saw a notable growth in its online business. This growth can be attributed to the shift in consumer behavior caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company, which owns popular retail brands like Freemans, Grattan, Bon Prix, Crate, and Barrel, and Quelle, initially experienced a decline in revenues due to lockdown measures in the months leading up to August. However, business quickly bounced back, leading the company to describe the first half of the year as successful.

Comparing revenues in its domestic market of Germany, Otto Group saw a significant increase of nearly 14%, mainly driven by e-commerce. The company also reported a global e-tail growth of around 20%. While e-commerce thrived during this period, the fashion retail segment faced challenges. Demand for furniture and consumer electronics saw a strong increase, but the fashion sector struggled, impacting the group companies specializing in this segment. This further highlights the growing trend of online retail surpassing brick-and-mortar stores, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this shift in consumer behavior, online purchases have become more frequent.

Although specific details about the performance of UK brands Grattan and Freemans were not provided, Otto Group acknowledged difficulties experienced by Bonprix and Witt during March and April due to consumer hesitation in the fashion sector. Additionally, revenues in countries like the US and Russia were severely affected, resulting in a single-digit percentage decrease for both companies. However, they managed to recover and return to growth starting from May. The group anticipates this positive trend to continue until the end of the financial year.

In contrast, the German branch of Otto Group witnessed a remarkable 25% increase in sales and attracted over a million new customers. However, the fashion segment did not contribute to this success. Notably, the company highlighted the exceptional growth of About You, a German fashion and technology e-commerce start-up. About You achieved a sales increase of approximately 65% during the first half of the financial year and is projected to reach €1 billion in revenue for the full year.

Overall, Otto Group experienced significant growth in its e-tail operations during the first half of 2020. Despite challenges in the fashion segment, other product categories such as furniture and consumer electronics drove the demand for online shopping. The company maintains an optimistic outlook for the future, expecting the positive trend to continue throughout the year.

Useful links:
1. Otto Group Official Website
2. About You Official Website