Spar's German company has decided to axe its online shopping division Einkauf 24 after the service failed to catch on with consumers. Although the service has been running since 1998, it was still being described by the company earlier this year as "a trial". The service is available to customers in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg with orders fulfilled from company owned Eurospar stores and picking centres. The writing has been on the wall for the service for several months after the company conceded it was proving "more expensive than we thought," and new chief executive Fritz Ammann announced a radical shake-up to axe underperforming parts of the business. Under the restructuring plan, Spar is focusing on its 400-strong company owned Eurospar estate (which is being converted to the Intermarche format of parent group ITM Enterprises), the 900-strong Netto discount chain and the 3,000-plus independent retailers it supplies as a wholesaler. Other activities, including the Kodi non food stores, cash and carries and forecourt stores, will be sold off or "repositioned". In a statement issued with the dismal full year results published last month, the company said: "Spar management expects that it will be more difficult to return to profitability than was originally assumed last year. "Wide ranging restructuring" will take the firm back into the black "in the fourth quarter of 2002." Spar clocked up full year operating losses of DM216m, prompting French parent Intermarche to inject over DM500m into its ailing subsidiary this year to protect it from insolvency. The firm has already lent Spar DM300m this year and last month dismissed three members of its supervisory board, and brought in experts in financial controlling and corporate law. Group debt has soared to DM2.4bn. {{NEWS }}