Thyssenkrupp launches online retail shop in Germany

Thyssenkrupp Materials Services, the distribution arm of the German steel group, has started its online retail shop, called Materials4Me, for the German market this week.

The online portal’s catalogue for the German market is offering 11,000 products to small businesses and end-users in small batches and standard sizes.

After the launch of Materials4Me in the UK and Spain, Germany is the newest market of Thyssenkrupp’s digital roll-out. The introduction of portals for existing customers in the Benelux countries, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland is also planned for the first half of 2016, the company said.

The steelmaker sees increasing potential of trading over the internet and is already close to making 10% of its materials sales online. “The question is when we will achieve 30% or 40% of our trading volume through online sales,” Hans-Josef Hoss, member of the executive board of Thyssenkrupp Materials Services, said earlier this year.

Also German steel dustributor Klöckner is shifting its business towards online trade. CEO Gisbert Rühl said that it would focus more on its online platforms for European and US customers than on physical distribution in future.

Laura Varriale, PLATTS