Hamburg’s economy has launched well into 2018, according to Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s latest economic barometer for which a total of 670 companies had been surveyed about their business status and prospects. At the end of 2017, 43.8 per cent of the companies surveyed rated their present business situation as “good” and 6.4 per cent as “bad”. Christi Degen, General Manager of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce since December, explained: “This figure is not only better than in the previous quarter, but is also the highest in ten years.”
Stadthöfe to open in summer
This optimistic view reflects the sustained, good consumer mood in Hamburg. The Handelsverband Nord determined a 3 per cent rise in turnover last year driven mainly by online trade. The opening of the Stadthöfe district in summer is likely to make stationary trade even more attractive. A new district consisting of apartments, offices, hotels and restaurants and retailers is emerging in the former State Ministry for Urban Development and the Environment near the Stadthausbrücke. Some new businesses have already moved in. The entire ground floor (5,000 square metres) divided into 40 units has been set aside for retailers, restaurants and exhibition areas. Another 15,000 square metres have been set aside for offices, 88 rented apartments and the TORTUE HAMBURG boutique hotel with 126 rooms, two restaurants, two bars and a rooftop terrace. The building complex borders on four connecting yards where people can stroll about and window-shop.
Hanseviertel to remain – Zalando expected
Shopaholics can also have fun in Hamburg’s Hanse district. In January, the city’s largest shopping arcade was declared an “outstanding post-modern structure” important to urban history and development as well as architecture. Zalando, one of Germany’s e-commerce giants, plans to open a 1,000 square metre shop in summer with some 20,000 products, 500 labels and 60 new jobs opposite the Hanseviertel.
Otto’s webpage to include more dealers
Germany’s Otto is adding more dealers to the online platform. At present, www.otto.de offers over 2.2 million different products including prescription-free medicine, perfumes by L’Oreal and furniture by Hülsta. The company is set to broaden the product range this year and is already the leading online provider of furniture with over 200,000 products ahead of Ikea. The www.ottonow.de website for renting all kinds of products will be expanded this year. So far, over 10,000 rental contracts have been signed for TVs, mobile phones, coffee percolators, washing machines and drones.
The www.ottonow.de went online in December 2016 as a test and the company has since gained valuable knowledge. The new rental commerce concept has met with acceptance and interest in long-term rental contracts grew significantly in 2017. Marc Opelt Member of the OTTO Management Board for Marketing, said: “When I’m in a shared car en route to an appointment, I notice the presence and popularity of the sharing economy like never before. So we are thrilled that we can confirm this e-commerce development with ‘OTTO Now’ and to push it ahead.”