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ECE was founded by Werner Otto in 1965. Werner also started his mail-order company, Otto, in 1945. The Otto Group stays lucrative in their German market and actually gives Amazon a run for their money. ECE and Otto are going to play a game of give-and-take with their new partnership. It's called Stocksquare.

Otto Group building
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Stocksquare

They want to better connect offline and online retail, so the two companies have founded a joint venture by the name of Stocksquare. It integrates the store networks of stationary retailers with the Otto.de platform. According to ecommercenews.eu, consumers will be able to use Stocksquare to reserve items online before picking them up at the centre or to buy something online and then have it delivered from the shopping centre to their homes with same-day delivery.

In Every ECE

The new services will be available to the complete store networks of retailers running shops in one of the around 90 ECE shopping centres across Germany. Retailers like Marc O'Polo, Reno and Ulla Popken are already included in the deal with more brands to come.

Same-day

This cross-channel link between the two Otto Group entities are also planning same-day delivery all across Germany.

On And Off

Here is what CEO Alexander Otto had to say about the future of shopping: “We are combining our knowledge from both worlds and enhancing brick-and-mortar retail by expanding its reach online. This is truly a remarkable pioneering project. In the process, we can draw on our long-standing partnerships with major retailers and our dense network of shopping centers as well as the omni-channel approach of our Digital Mall project.”

For the first phase of the project, customers will be able to check Otto.de to see if an item is available at a nearby store. Currently, about 20,000 products have their availability listed. Over time, more items will be added.

Connections

The concept is designed to allow for not only ECE shopping centre connections, but will include products from other stores as well. In future, the plan is also to connect with other online platforms. That could really turn into a huge deal for Otto Group.