After we checked out its headquarters in Stuttgart, Internetstores invited us to its Berlin Mitte office: a little smaller, more international and with a distinct start-up atmosphere.
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, Brügelmann, 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 900 brands and 100,000 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. 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 and outdoor shops – online and offline – throughout Europe.
The Berlin office was established in 2011. In October 2014, after three years on Torstraße, we found the perfect office space on 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 200 service partners. Addnature and Bikester stores in Stockholm and Probikeshop in Lyon complete the family. We currently employ around 800 people in Stuttgart, Berlin, 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 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. In the future, we want to expand our IT team in Berlin and organise even more meetups. Psst: follow us on LinkedIn – you won’t miss any events or news, and you can gain some insights about our company 😉.
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 start-up-like atmosphere.
How many employees work at the company now? And how many in Berlin?
The whole Internetstores Group employs 800 people. In Berlin, there are around 80 employees, mostly in international Customer Care, SEA, SEO, CRM, Design, Team Text, HR, Marketing & Brand Strategy and IT.
Fun fact: in Berlin, the male/female quota is 50/50.
What benefits can employees expect at the Berlin office?
We offer different benefits to our Berlin Team like fruit, snacks, coffee, regular Friday beers, pizza lunches, BBQs on our terrace and office yoga. Of course, all employees get a grant for their BVG Ticket and discount on all bike and outdoor products sold in our shops.
What kind of team events do you host at the office?
We’ve had many different events at the office, both before and during corona. Currently, some of these are happening digitally, including our monthly campfire 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.
Where exactly is the office, and how big is it?
The office is located on Oranienburger Straße, in the heart of Berlin and easy to reach from all over 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 in-house by our team assistant and Berlin office manager, Antje. Our design department also helped out, especially our dear colleague Martin!
Thank you Internetstores team for the interview and photoshoot!
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