Clipper, the multichannel retail logistics experts, have strengthened their position in the European arena with the acquisition of German logistics specialist, Geist. The acquisition is part of the roll out of Clipper’s strategic plans for Europe and creates an agile logistics network to help UK retailers, who are looking towards mainland Europe for expansion.
Clipper already has substantial business and property interests in Germany and has identified Europe as a major avenue for growth in the retail logistics market. The deal will establish new relationships with UK and European businesses and allow greater flexibility for existing international customers. With predicted growth in online retail, more retailers are looking for a truly ‘cross border’ solution, that takes cost, complexity and risk out of the supply chain process. Logistics contributes £55bn to the UK economy, comprising 5% of GDP, whilst ‘declining trade barriers’ are opening up routes to new and developing markets.
Tony Mannix, Managing Director of Clipper said: “The UK is the most advanced country in Europe for multichannel retailing, with over 12% of all purchasing taking place online. However, major EU countries such as Germany, Italy and France are growing online sales fast and are hot on the heels of the UK.”
“Through listening to our customers it is clear that European expansion and the ability to handle the growing demands for online international returns are key concerns for retailers. The development and launch of our Boomerang™ returns management solution and this further expansion in Germany are key elements of our strategic plan. This will help us to assist customers grow, both within the UK and in Europe. I am delighted that we have been able to acquire the Geist business to support our ambitions.”
Clipper now operates from 6 key sites in Germany and have a high quality local management team in place who are supported from the UK with solutions design and IT capabilities. The former Geist management team, have all been accommodated within Clipper’s German operation and this has created a critical mass of both infrastructure capability and people talent. The Clipper German operations now employ several hundred people.
Steve Parkin, Chairman and founder of Clipper said: “As the UK leader in retail logistics, it makes sense to export our expertise and innovation into growth markets, which will enable us to win new customers and better meet existing customers demands. Returns are becoming an increasingly important consideration for retailers, as online sales have seen returns reach levels of 40%. No retailer wants items returned, but when it does inevitably happen, for whatever reason, it’s vital to get stock checked and back into the inventory as soon as possible. This is another important step for Clipper and signals our intentions to be an internationally renowned name in retail logistics.”
Geist are a consistently profitable German business and will add to Clipper’s already well established presence in the country, bringing further expertise in retail logistics, warehousing, transport and e-fulfilment. The UK is the world’s leading country for e-commerce and a net-exporter of e-commerce goods, exporting £2.80 for every £1 imported. The need for an efficient returns management solution is implicit to UK exporters and retailers alike.