Globetrotter acquires local specialty retail heavyweight

Globetrotter Ausrüstung, the big specialty outdoor retailer from Hamburg, has agreed the acquisition of Bernd Woick GmbH, a key retailer in the Stuttgart area. Founded in 1982, Woick is one of the pioneering firms in the German outdoor industry, notably with the introduction of handheld GPS devices to the German market. The company runs three regular shops in Stuttgart, Filderstadt and Ulm, all of them in southwest Germany, plus one factory outlet in the town of Metzingen in the same region. Woick’s sales after VAT were €12.5 million in 2013. The move follows Globetrotter’s plans for a base in the south western state of Baden-Württemberg where they had no presence to date.

Invest more in on-street retail

The Woick takeover is part of a plan to invest more in on-street retail following a decline in Globetrotter’s mail-order trade over the past few months. For the outgoing financial year, which ends on Feb. 28th, Globetrotter projects sales of €245 million, equivalent to a 1 percent drop. Operating revenues are said to be slightly down. A few years ago, Globetrotter’s mail-order business used to make up nearly 50 percent of turnover, but last year this dropped to 40 percent.  For the year that is drawing to a close, the figure is expected to be no higher than 33 percent. Due to aggressive online pricing and massive stock surpluses for both retailers and vendors, margins for the German mail-order business have been put under strain. Globetrotter has now decided to place a greater focus on bricks-and-mortar retail.

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