Otto Group

On Amazon's Heels

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Little known in the US, the Otto Group owns the more familiar Crate&Barrel. Picture source: Reuters

Long gone are the times when Germany’s largest retailer was making its business from mail-orders through its catalog. And while many Germans still associate the name Otto with the thick quarterly fashion and home appliances catalogs that were once shipped to nearly every household, the company has evolved in recent past years.

Today, the Otto Group, which employs some 50,000 across more than 30 countries and runs 123 subsidiaries, is Europe’s largest online fashion and lifestyle retailer, leaving behind US rival Amazon on the continent. While the firm is largely unknown to an US audience, it wholly-owns Crate & Barrel, the popular home furnishings and accessories retailer in the United States.

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