The Otto Group closed its 2018/19 financial year Thursday (February 28, 2019) with preliminary forecasts putting global online revenues at approximately EUR 7.7 billion or a rise of 5.1 per cent, a press release said. The retail and services group generated revenues of over EUR 5.4 billion, an increase of 5.9 per cent in online business in Germany,
Technology to become part of group’s DNA
Sebastian Klauke, the incumbent Otto Group Chief Digital Officer, is to join the Executive Board and replaces Dr. Rainer Hillebrand, who is resigning in April after 28 years’ service to the company. The Otto Group expressed its gratitude for his outstanding work. Klauke stressed: “To stay successful on the market in future too, technology needs to become part of our corporate identity. For this reason we will continue firmly on our path to becoming a fully digitalised retail and services group.” The Otto Group also includes the Otto company is expecting a rise of more than 8 per cent in turnover to around EUR 3 billion. The overall group must adapt new, customer-orientated technologies faster and find new sources of revenue that fully exploit the advantages of digital business models, Klauke stressed.
Hillebrand termed the Otto Group’s digital transformation a “permanent process”. Prof. Dr. Michael Otto had initiated digitalisation issues in 1999. As digital milestones in the history of the Otto Group, Klauke cited the group’s focus on Mobile First in 2012, the use of augmented reality for virtual room planning in 2018 and the “Introduction of Instant Payment at Otto GmbH & Co KG this year” as examples of the digital milestones in the Otto Group’s history. The Otto Group intends to position itself mainly in augmented reality e.g. with the Youhome app, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The group will also offer a smart IoT connection between the online shop and Internet-compatible household appliances under the Otto ready label.