AFTER WE CHECKED OUT ITS HEADQUARTERS IN STUTTGART, INTERNETSTORES INVITED US TO ITS brand-new BERLIN MITTE OFFICE: A LITTLE SMALLER and also presenting Internetstores`ecommerce spirit.
Find out more below.
Thanks for having us. Can you tell us more about the evolution of Internetstores?
We’re proud to say that we’re Europe’s leading multi-channel supplier for bike and outdoor, with around 40 online specialist shops across 14 countries, including fahrrad.de, Bikester, ProBikeShop, Campz and Addnature.
Our team provides customers with a comprehensive range of products aimed at recreational athletes and pros alike. Bike and outdoor fans will find exactly what they need from a selection of more than 1.400 brands and 120,000 products.
They’ll also benefit from expert advice provided across all channels. In addition to well-known bike and outdoor brands, the range also includes our exclusive in-house brands such as Ortler, Serious, Fixie Inc., Red Cycling Products and Votec.
Our multi-channel strategy means being exactly where the customer wants us to be: online, in our physical shops or via ‘on-site services’ at a preferred location.
When was the company established, and what is Internetstores’ core business?
The father of our founder René Köhler, Rolf Köhler, was a long-established bicycle retailer in Stuttgart, running a traditional bike shop just outside the centre.
This is where his son got started in 2003 and soon began selling bikes through eBay. This was so successful that father and son decided to buy the fahrrad.de URL together. From then on, the company blossomed, opening many more bike shops – online and offline – throughout Europe.
Since 2010, we have Outdoor Sports as a 2nd business vertical besides Bike in Internetstores, too and can offer products to our customers in the areas of running, camping, hiking, trekking etc. in dedicated online shops like CAMPZ and ADDNATURE.
Besides our great product range in biking, this has helped us to become more known in other European markets and let us grow to an international company.
The Berlin office was established in 2011. In October 2014, after three years on Torstraße, we found the perfect office space in Oranienburger Str. and we can’t imagine a better workplace.
In which countries are you active?
We operate around 40 online specialist shops in 14 countries, including fahrrad.de, Brügelmann, Bikester, ProBikeShop, Campz and Addnature. In Germany, you’ll find fahrrad.de physical stores in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Dortmund, supplemented by a nationwide network of 300+ service partners. Addnature and Bikester stores in Stockholm and Probikeshop in Lyon complete the family. We currently employ around 900 people in Stuttgart, Berlin, Esslingen, Lyon and Stockholm.
Why did you open an office in Berlin?
Because we operate throughout Europe, we rely on different team members with international backgrounds, like IT specialists, translators and editors. Stuttgart isn’t that big compared to Berlin in terms of international residents (and potential employees in general), so the Berlin location gives us access to the best possible people for the job. This means we can provide our customers with expertise, no matter where they’re located. In our experience, it’s also easier to find people with a creative background, like designers, in Berlin. Opening the office in this unique city has made recruiting the right people a lot easier.
What are your plans for the Berlin location?
Having the Berlin office also enables us to participate in the city’s start-up and tech scene. Being close to the office of our parent company SIGNA Sports United helps us to have a close local connection too.
Do you feel closely connected or instead separated from the HQ in Stuttgart?
The Berlin Team has the best of both worlds: on the one hand, they enjoy the many benefits and security that only a larger company can provide. On the other hand, a smaller location is more intimate and creates a family-like atmosphere.
How many employees work at the company now? And how many in Berlin?
The whole Internetstores Group employs around 900 people. In Berlin, there are around 120 employees in teams from the whole company. For us, it is not important anymore if employees work from Stuttgart or Berlin but to find the right talents. With our new work mode, employees can then choose if they want to come to come to the office in Stuttgart or in Berlin once a week.
What benefits can employees expect at the Berlin office?
We offer different benefits to our Berlin team like fruit, snacks, coffee, regular Friday beers, Tuesday breakfasts, pizza lunches, BBQs on our terrace and office yoga. Of course, all employees get 30 days/year of vacation, a subsidy for their BVG Ticket and discount on all bike and outdoor products sold in our shops, as well as discounted bicycle leasing (including insurance!).
Our newest benefit is the introduction of our new work model that offers up to 4 days/week of remote work. As we do not want to miss out on the socializing part of working at Internetstores, there is one mandatory day/week that employees can chose together with their team to work from the office. If you are interested in learning more about why and how we set this up, you can read the following article from our Director People & Culture, Nils Pollex.
What kind of team events do you host at the office?
We’ve had many different events at the office, both before and after covid. We have a weekly camp fire that consists of relevant business updates from the leadership team. However, usually, there are summer parties, boat parties, Christmas parties, beach volleyball and soccer tournaments, a company run and yoga. Our employees also cycle regularly in their free time, and many are keen outdoor enthusiasts.
Every Tuesday we offer a breakfast and on Fridays a Checkout with snacks and drinks.
Where exactly is the office, and how big is it?
The office is located in Oranienburger Straße, in the heart of Berlin and easy to reach from all over the town. Of course, we encourage our employees to cycle to work and have a bike ‘garage’ in the office for safe parking.
Who designed the office?
The office was designed by external interior designers.
Thank you Internetstores team for the interview and photoshoot!
Location: Berlin, Germany Website: Internetstores
Photos: Andreas Lukoschek
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