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Otto Group to benefit from centralised buying team

Mail-order group Freemans Grattan Holdings (FGH) is to benefit from stronger buying muscle after the UK arm’s restructure, backed by German parent Otto Group.

Koert Tulleners, chief executive of FGH, which operates the Freemans and Grattan catalogues in the UK, said FGH will be able to buy more efficiently and improve its merchandise quality after the centralisation of most of its buying teams in Germany. “Through co-operation with Germany we are trying to fast-forward 15 years,” he said.

However, the buying teams for young fashion etailer Oli and older womenswear brand Kaleidoscope, which are also owned by FGH, will remain in the UK due to their more localised product offer. 

The Bradford-based company is seeking a new head office in the city as it plans to modernise the business.

Tulleners, who was parachuted into the UK division by Otto Group at the end of last year, will develop FGH’s direct selling, particularly online.

FGH’s restructure, which began at the start of the year and saw Otto UK change its name to FGH, led to  1,000 redundancies in the UK.

Separately, Otto Group is understood to be interested in acquiring parts of Primondo, the mail-order arm of German retail group Arcandor, which failed to find an anchor investor last week.

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