Klöckner enters new markets via e-commerce

Germany’s Klöckner & Co will not attempt to make acquisitions beyond its defined home territory of certain European countries and the USA, according to its ceo Gisbert Rühl.

However, although the distribution group does not intend any physical expansion, it is gaining new territory through its e-commerce activities, he said during a conference call attended by Kallanish. Rühl has been strongly driving Klöckner’s digitalisation. The group’s sales via digital channels currently accounts for 29% of total sales, up from 20% one year ago, and is targeted to reach 33% by the end of the year.

For its open market platform Xom, it has just won Severstal as a major steelmaker. Xom currently has 35 suppliers “… which taken together stand for annual revenues of €35 billion ($39 billion). So if they handle 3% of their sales on average via Xom, the platform would have a revenue of over one billion euros,” he said. Currently, the annual transaction value is still only €10 million, but “… is growing explosively, after much campaigning that we have done lately,” he added. One year ago, the platform only had five suppliers participating.

Apart from Severstal in Russia, Klöckner’s e-commerce activities has led the company to Italy, and won back partners in Spain, which the company had exited years ago. In the USA, it is currently in talks with some 100 possible new participants.

Separately from the open platform Xom, Klöckner also operates the so-called ‘Klöckner Market Place’. This is open only to partners that do not compete with Klöckner’s products, often processors or suppliers of other materials than steel.

Klöckner is continuing to offer its digital services widely, and has just secured its first customer among Frankfurt Stock Exchange’s DAX 30 companies, Rühl said, without naming the company.