Paper Tiger

Death of a Mail-Order Titan?

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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The fashion online market is getting tougher and the German online retailer Otto has to invest to keep pace.

  • Facts


    • Otto is one of Germany’s largest online retailers.
    • The company’s business in Russia has been adversely affected by the weak ruble.
    • The weak euro is bad for Otto’s bottom line because the company buys many of its products, especially textiles, in dollars.
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Hans-Otto Schrader, the chief executive of Otto, Germany’s leading catalogue retailer, believes the days of double-digit growth for online fashion sales are over. Competition is tougher on Germany’s €8 billion market – and Mr. Schrader is settling in for a long hard fight against competitors Zalando and Amazon. The only question for Otto: Is it too late?


Handelsblatt: Do you own any shares in Zalando?

Mr. Schrader: No, why do you ask?

You said you wanted to buy some so you could ask about the package return rate at Zalando’s shareholder meeting.

Well, I was only kidding, maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I wouldn’t invest in Zalando shares for my personal investment account.

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