Record inflation and tighter budgets for consumers have also brought the Corona boom of the past few years to an abrupt end at the Hamburg mail order company Otto. In the 2022/23 financial year, which ended at the end of February, the individual Otto company operating in Germany posted sales of around 4.5 billion euros in its own business, as the company announced on Monday. Compared to the previous year with 5.1 billion euros, this corresponds to a slump of almost twelve percent.

Including the constantly growing number of more than 5,000 (previous year: 3,300) marketplace partners to whom Otto has opened its portal as a trading platform, the business volume was 6.3 billion euros, almost nine percent less than in the previous year. The profit was “negative”, said divisional director Marc Opelt. “Overall we are very dissatisfied.” In the first two years of the coronavirus, 2020 and 2021, business had grown at double-digit rates. Temporary closures in stationary retail caused an unprecedented boom in the entire online trade during the pandemic.

Less money in your pockets

“It was a very difficult year for the entire industry and also for us,” said Opelt, summing up the domestic Otto business. A forecast for 2023 is very difficult, among other things, because of the Ukraine war. You go into the new year with a “more realistic plan”.

Because of the high inflation, consumers have less money in their wallets, Opelt explained the slump in the past year. “Accordingly, they avoid impulse purchases, do without branded products more often and put off major purchasing decisions.”

However, Opelt expressed his satisfaction that Otto had hardly lost any customers. In 2022, around 11.3 million customers would have bought from Otto, albeit with “significantly smaller shopping baskets”. For the previous year, Otto had indicated 11.5 million active customers, after 9.9 million in the previous year.

The entire Otto Group will present its business figures on May 24th. According to an initial forecast, online sales worldwide in 2022/23 are likely to have fallen by only around two percent to around 12.1 billion euros. Foreign countries, which are less economically affected, are proving to be a support.