The German mail order specialist Neckermann is eliminating its print catalogue in stages as it changes course to rely to a greater extent on the Internet. CEO Henning Koopmann wants to transform the company into a "bona fide online retailer," according to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Neckermann will concentrate its efforts on the online retail division, where it now realises 80% of its sales. The classic 1,000 page-catalogue is already dead and buried. "A 700 page-catalogue was issued in January – the next will include only about 400 pages" said a spokesman Friday in Frankfurt, confirming an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which it was claimed that catalogue-based activity has recently weakened more than expected.
For the current year, Koopmann expects sales growth to stagnate. The problem is that the profitability of the online business is not growing as fast as expected. However, due to the fact that the group has reduced its investment in expensive catalogues and margins now have priority over volumes, the end result will be a great improvement on last year. A year ago, Mr. Koopmann had already reaffirmed the objective of regaining profitability in 2012.