OTTO – The Chronicle

It all began in 1949 with a hand-glued catalogue and 28 pairs of shoes. By founding his mail-order company, the entrepreneur Werner Otto opens an important chapter in post-war German history.



2016, sustainability campaign, Guido Maria Kretschmer

OTTO expands its portfolio of specialised online shops with
As Germany’s leading online retailer in the Furnishings segment, OTTO is launching its own specialised online shop for furniture, home textiles, lamps and related products.

Large-scale sustainability campaign presents the Cotton made in Africa initiative
For the first time OTTO is launching a 360° campaign on the topic of sustainability and looking back on a decade of engagement for the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative. CmiA supports smallholder farmers in producing cotton more sustainably and thereby securing their own livelihoods.

Celebrity support for OTTO’s Living product segment
The collaboration between OTTO and Germany’s best-loved designer, Guido Maria Kretschmer, is set to run and run. In the first step Kretschmer curated a collection of inspiring product theme-worlds from the existing Living assortment and presented these on An own exclusive furnishings product line is set to follow.



New logo, and lifestyle study

New logo, new face – OTTO strengthens digital brand management
OTTO is giving its brand identity a makeover and now has a new logo. The continued development emphasizes the importance of digital brand management to the online retailer. OTTO also introduces German top model Julia Stegner as its online presenter.
OTTO launches sixth dedicated online shop:
The single company OTTO has launched a dedicated online shop for high-end, eco-friendly household appliances at, a much-loved brand steeped in tradition.
OTTO lifestyle study 2015
Who calls the shots when buying furniture? What role do over-the-counter retailers and online shops play when it comes to furniture? And how do preferences differ across age groups? The representative OTTO lifestyle study 'Wohnstudie 2015' provides qualitative and quantitative answers – all collated by the independent market-research institute TNS Infratest.

Record year
Alongside the most successful OTTO Christmas campaign of all time – ‘Christmas is in you’ – the online retailer has also notched up its highest annual revenues to date in the Living Segment.

Roombeez, prize for innovation and

Roombeez home-furnishings blog launches features five famous interior designers and other guest bloggers. They all blog for OTTO, offering inspiring new furnishing and lifestyle ideas.

OTTO named Germany's most innovative large company
The single company OTTO was named winner of the German prize for innovation Innovationspreis 2014 in the 'Large Companies' category. The jury praised OTTO's use and integration of predictive analytics software across the entire product lifecycle as an outstanding example of a successful Big Data project from a German company. – the new specialist online shop for everyone’s dream sofa
OTTO customers can now shop with ease at for comfy sofas and couches plus matching home textiles.

Custom software for, new iPad shopping app and wide-ranging brand offensive

Custom software for
Project Lhotse saw a team of around 100 developing custom online shop software for OTTO. can now be updated even more quickly to meet customer and market demands.

New iPad shopping app launched
The main focus of the new app is providing inspiration! It also offers customers a compelling shopping experience.

OTTO launches wide-ranging brand offensive
The new brand campaign focuses on OTTO's fashion and lifestyle expertise using witty TV ads that are sure to surprise!

Palina Rojinski, new Management Board, anniversary of LASCANA and OTTO Beauty

Digital Native Palina Rojinski becomes the online presenter of OTTO
At the official start of the season OTTO is, for the first time, introducing a new face, separately from the catalogue cover - the German TV presenter and actress Palina Rojinski.

New OTTO Management Board
On August 1, 2012, Dr Michael Heller, Marc Opelt and Petra Scharner-Wolff are appointed as Members of the Management Board within the company OTTO’s new leadership structure. Alexander Birken, Member of the Executive Board, Multichannel Distance Selling Otto Group, is Spokesman of OTTO.

10 years of Lascana
In 2012, the successful LASCANA lingerie and swimwear label celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Start of OTTO Beauty
Since December customers can find online at / beauty beauty and cosmetic products. The product line includes beauty products from the segments color cosmetics, skin care, body care and natural cosmetics.

One new online specialty shop and launch of the mobile shop

Online satellite of LASCANA
LASCANA, OTTO's successful lingerie and swimwear shop now has an online satellite for internet-savvy customers with

Mobile Shopping
At, mobile customers can now use their smartphones to access the entire OTTO range and order directly.

First virtual catalogue, first iPad app and success on Facebook

A virtual catalogue
The mytrend Winter catalogue combines printed catalogue pages with the web shop by integrating Augmented Reality technology.

New iPad app
OTTO releases the ‘OTTO-Kataloge’ iPad app to coincide with the launch of the iPad in Germany. iPad users can select the catalogue of their choice, scroll through, zoom in, and order directly – all OTTO at their fingertips.

Mr Brigitte wins Facebook modelling contest
In the Facebook modelling contest, users surprisingly vote ‘Brigitte’ the winner: a young man dressed as a woman. OTTO reacts with community spirit and humour, and gains thousands of new Facebook fans plus several awards.


Happy Sixty, Social Media and a new Internet specialty shop

OTTO runs numerous specials and promotions to celebrate its 60th anniversary with employees and customers.
OTTO now has its own Facebook fan page and Twitter account.
With, OTTO launches a new online specialty shop for everything related to a good night’s sleep.

Launch of the OTTO Fashion Blog

In the ‘Two for Fashion’ blog, two fashion experts report for and with OTTO on trends and news from fashion capitals like New York, Hamburg and Berlin.

The third dimension

Launch of the 3D OTTO Store for Microsoft Windows Vista. The online range is expanded to more than 500,000 items.

Three main catalogues and full accessibility on the Net

For the first time OTTO publishes three instead of two main catalogues in a year.

To mark the 10th anniversary of, OTTO announces the expansion of its web shop into a one-stop shopping platform. In addition, is now widely barrier-free, making it more accessible for people with disabilities.

Delivery during 3-hour window

OTTO offers customers order delivery within a time window of three hours.

Otto Versand is renamed OTTO

OTTO Versand changes its name to OTTO. From now on, OTTO is used only for the individual company, while the Otto Group refers to the group of 123 major subsidiaries. The name change reflects the successfully accomplished development into international trade and services group.

Virtual dressing-room

Customers can now virtually try on merchandise at

Order by mobile phone

Otto Versand enables mobile ordering for the first time on mobile phones with WAP technology.

The specialty shop goes online.


Otto turns 50

On August 17th , Otto Versand celebrates its 50th anniversary and sends its customers airborne birthday greetings: a hot-air balloon shaped like a catalogue tours Germany.

New media and eco-textiles

The Otto catalogue is published in full online. With ecologically optimised textiles, Otto Versand becomes a pioneer in the market for sustainable products.

Otto on the Internet

Otto Versand offers a selection of items online for the first time on its webshop

The range on CD-ROM

Otto Versand becomes the first mail-order company to present its range on an interactive CD-ROM.

Service hotline

24-hour delivery is now available for most items. All customer service centres can be contacted via one phone number.

Shopping 24/7

Customers can now order from Otto Versand at weekends and at night.

24-hour express service

Customers can have selected items delivered to their home within 24 hours.


Famous ad campaign

The slogan " Otto... find’ ich gut " (Otto ... I like it) becomes a household saying, and remains so for decades.


Founding of the Hermes Shipping Service

Otto Versand founds its own delivery company, independent of the German postal service.


Goods on credit

The newly founded Hanseatic Bank allows Otto Versand customers to buy on credit.

First specialty catalogue

In addition to the main catalogue, there is now a special offer for young people: the Post Shop Magazine.

Famous fashion designers

Items by prominent designers like Nina Ricci, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain make their debut in the Otto catalogue.

Orders by phone

Customers can now call 61 10 81 to order by phone - thanks to integrated data processing. 


Hard goods added to the range

Bicycles, porcelain, and electric appliances become part of the product range.

Discounts on collective orders

Customers who collectively order for their neighbours, friends, and relatives get a 5-percent discount.  

First printed catalogue and larger selection

The first machine-printed catalogue comprises 28 pages and offers an expanded selection of products. Besides shoes, the range now includes briefcases, raincoats, and trousers.  

First catalogue with 28 pairs of shoes

The first catalogue is hand-bound and consists of 14 pages with photos glued in. The 300 copies of the edition presents a range of 28 pairs of shoes.

Under the heading " Vertrauen gegen Vertrauen " (trust for trust), Otto becomes the first mail-order company to introduce payment by invoice.


Werner Otto founds Werner Otto Versandhandel in Hamburg . At first it has three employees and is based in two small buildings in Hamburg-Schnelsen.



First Mover

First Mover