Otto UK is to scrap its Oli catalogue but remains committed to the brand as an etail venture.
He added that Oli was on target to achieve sales of £50 million in its first year, but conceded that the business would make a loss because of start-up costs.
Otto UK splashed out £25m on the Oli launch last summer, which was designed to compete head on with Asos. Samson said: “We had a considerable amount of start-up costs, but we hope to make a return by year two or three. Otto is in the [Oli] business for the long term.”
He said the group planned to launch a smaller format and more frequent “Asos-style” magazine to replace its mail order catalogue.
Otto Group, Otto UK’s German parent, drafted in accountancy firm KPMG at the start of the year to conduct a strategic review of its UK operations, which could result in a sale. Otto UK chief executive Mike Hancox said: “In no scenario would Oli close.”