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Buying team under threat at Otto UK

More than 100 buying and merchandising jobs are thought to be under threat at Otto UK, which owns the Freemans and Grattan catalogues, after the company said it was considering moving the departments to Germany.

Otto UK confirmed to Drapers it planned to "streamline and restructure" its buying and creative departments, which could result in moving all purchasing to Germany, where its parent company, Otto Group, is based.

Otto UK said it had entered into a 90-day consultation period with staff over the proposed changes but declined to disclose a specific figure as to many jobs are under threat.

A spokesman for Otto UK said: "Otto UK has begun consulting with union representatives with regards to restructuring and streamlining the business. The first phase of consultations will last 90 days and it will affect the buying and creative departments. The second phase will be announced in the New Year. It could involve purchasing being moved to Germany as a result of cost cutting. No decision has been made as yet."

The changes are thought to have been implemented by Otto UK's new chief executive, Koert Tulleners, who joined the business in September.

Readers' comments (2)

  • This was always going to happen, however, I would tend not to go down this route as the german market and the UK market are at opposite sides of the spectrum. I previously supplied Grattan & freemans when working as a mail order manager and my colleague in Germany and I spoke regularly about our business with Otto UK & Otto Germany and the difference in product selected was vast. I just hope they consider the UK buyers expertise in knowing their own market before moving everything to Germany.

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  • I think if they do this, they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Sure it will save money, but at the expense of the business. UK and German product is like chalk and cheese. The UK buyers know their market well.

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