Neckermann struggles as Quelle relaunch ahead

Mail order company Neckermann Versand Österreich AG suffered losses of more than eight million Euros last year, according to reports from today (Weds).Viennese newspaper Der Standard claims the firm – a subsidiary of German mail order giant Neckermann – also suffered a four million Euro year on year decline in turnover to 84 million Euros in 2009.Reports have it that the further existence of the firm depended on financial and administrative support by its German parent company. Neckermann Austria has around 400 employees.The news comes shortly after the new owner of collapsed mail order firm Quelle revealed plans to restart business in Austria under its tradition-rich name.Bosses at Hamburg-based Unito Versand & Dienstleistungen GmbH – which also owns mail order giants Otto and Universal – announced they considered the restart of Quelle Austria the “chance of a century”.They explained the plan was to take advantage of the big popularity of Quelle as a brand in the country, adding that a restart of businesses was planned for January 2011.Thousands of employees in Germany and hundreds of staff in its distribution centre in Upper Austria lost their jobs when Quelle filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Austrian Labour Market Service (AMS) officials said earlier this year most of the affected Austrian employees have in the meantime found new occupations.Unito chiefs said marketing strategists were currently establishing Quelle’s future target group.Unito’s Otto / Universal mail order businesses’ turnover in the past 2009/2010 business year, which ended in February, was 185 million Euros. Officials said they expected annual turnover to soar to 300 million Euros during the next three to five years.The company’s turnover rose by 23.4 per cent year on year to 102.6 million Euros in the first half of the current business year. Unito’s analysts explained half of the rise was down to more orders by customers over the internet.