Germany’s second-largest online retailer, the Otto Group, does not want to increase shipping costs or price returns, despite increased costs. “We have the perfect storm on the cost side, because everything is actually getting more expensive. Nevertheless, an increase in shipping costs is not planned. The market would not accept that,” said CEO Alexander Birken in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG.

You don’t want to irritate the customer. “The free trying on of textiles and other goods is part of our service. We have no plans to price returns,” Birken said.

In the case of private labels, there should be price increases to a limited extent at best. “Of course, the price increases weigh on us,” said Birken. These would continue unchecked because the cost of purchasing goods is higher and primary products are significantly more expensive. “So we have to cut back on our margin,” said the manager.

As a consequence, investments are being reviewed, and some have already been slowed down. “The major strategic projects are not affected, above all the major transformation of Otto into a marketplace, but also the search for assets that fit our existing business areas,” said Birken. The family business recently entered the healthcare market through two takeovers.