Clipper acquires German logistics firm Geist

RETAIL logistics specialist Clipper has acquired German logistics firm Geist.

Leeds-based Clipper said the acquisition is part of the roll out of its strategic plans for Europe and creates an “agile logistics network to help UK retailers, who are looking towards mainland Europe for expansion”.

Clipper’s turnover is £200m and the group currently employs 3,000 people across the UK and Europe.

Clipper, which is owned by millionaire entrepreneur Steve Parkin, 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, Clipper said.

Logistics contributes £55bn to the UK economy, comprising 5% of GDP, whilst ‘declining trade barriers’ are opening up routes to new and developing markets, according to Clipper.

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 six key sites in Germany. 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.

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.”

According to Clipper, Geist is 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.

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