News roundup—11th November 2008

News roundup—11th November 2008

The buying and creative departments at Otto UK are
being looked at “with regards to restructuring and
streamlining the business.” A spokesperson for Otto
confirmed that a consultation period has begun with buyers and
merchandisers as the company considers whether to centralise
purchasing in Germany, where parent company Otto Group is based.
A further consultation period with other departments is scheduled
for early next year. Otto UK’s catalogues include Freemans,
Grattan and Oli.

The good news: The British Retail Consortium reports that
online and mail order sales of non-food items for October rose
16.6 per cent. The not-so-good news: As The Times notes, direct sales account for
less than 4 per cent of total retail sales. The bad news: Total
retail sales for October fell 0.1 per cent, the first
year-on-year decline since April 2005.

Deutsche Post is shutting its DHL Express parcel
delivery business in the US. “From January, DHL Express
will only handle US packages as part of international
shipments, cutting costs by more than 80 per cent,”
reports the Financial Times.


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