"For bright children's eyes" is the slogan of Mytoys - but now there are mainly sad faces among the employees in Hamburg: The Hamburg Otto Group is discontinuing the business operations of the toy platform Mytoys.de and is closing all branches by February 2024. In the future, the Mytoys brand will only be offered on the Otto platform, the group announced. A reconciliation of interests is to be negotiated and a social plan drawn up for the approximately 800 employees affected in the Mytoys administration in Berlin and the 19 stationary shops.
"Of course, this decision was extremely difficult for us, especially in view of the committed and professional work of all Mytoys employees," explained Otto's e-commerce director Sebastian Klauke. But in view of the business model, which has been in deficit for years, there is no alternative. According to reports, Mytoys made a loss before taxes and interest in the mid-million range in the past financial year and has only achieved a slightly positive result in one year since 2011.
Despite multiple strategic reorientations and high investments, the company has not achieved a solid economic performance and the required sustainable profitability, explained Otto. Against this background, the success of an absolutely necessary turnaround, combined with further high investments and increasing cost and market pressure, can neither be planned seriously nor realistically.
In addition, the competitive and low-margin toys segment is easier to manage profitably within Otto's marketplace. "We want to use the success of the marketplace model to take even greater account of the importance of the high-growth but also highly competitive toy segment in the future," explained Klauke. The group company Limango, which previously operated under the umbrella of the Mytoys Group, is not affected by the closure.
All in all, a redefinition is currently the order of the day at Otto Gropu. After the extremely good business years during the corona pandemic, the signs are now pointing to a crisis, despite largely stable online sales. "Our earnings will definitely decrease very significantly," said Group Management Board member Sebastian Klauke the week before last.