Online department stores are on the rise in Europe

Coop turns Microspot into an online department store

Online department stores are on the rise in Europe. Source: shutterstock.com

There is another online department store arising in Switzerland, according to Ecommerce News. Two months after electronics retailer Brack.ch relaunched as an online department store, competitor Microspot will also switch to being an online platform where customers can shop for things like jewelry, diapers, sports equipment and dog food.

Microspot will actually be the third Swiss electronics retailer that turns into an online department store selling a broad assortment. First, there was Galaxus. This e-commerce company has its roots in consumer electronics, but gradually started selling different kinds of products. The same goes for Brack.ch, which turned into an online department store at the end of March.

And now Coop is busy turning Microspot into an online department store. This decision follows one year after the Swiss company quit online marketplace Siroop. That online marketplace was acquired by (co-owner) Coop in April 2018, but soon the retail giant announced it would pull the plug on what was meant to become a serious Swiss competitor to Amazon. While Galaxus has expanded to Germany and generates annual sales of just under 1 billion Swiss francs (888 million euros), Microspot recently ended last year with 242 million Swiss francs (215 million euros).

After the Siroop project, Coop has been expanding Microspot in silence. In addition to consumer electronics, consumers can now also buy products such as watches, jewelry, sports equipment and more on the online platform.

CEO Pierre Wenger says the goal is to grow at least twice as fast as the market, with the target being an annual growth of about 20%. In the next few months, Microspot will increase the number of items from the current 250,000 to 750,000 products. That’s still small compared to Galaxus, which will expand its product range to at least 3 million items this year.

Later this year, Microspot will also set up about 500 pick-up stations in the various Coop supermarkets across Switzerland. It wants to battle competitors with fast and customer-friendly service, and with low prices. And the focus will be clearly on the Swiss market, so any global expansion isn’t planned.

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