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Oli calls time on catalogue

Otto UK is to scrap its Oli catalogue but remains committed to the brand as an etail venture.

Oli brand director Neil Samson dismissed claims that sales at the young fashion etailer had stalled after its initial launch in July. He said the strength of Oli’s online trading had prompted the decision to drop the catalogue, and added that 70% of sales were generated via the web.

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.”

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