Thanks for having us. Can you tell us how the company became Internetstores (as it is today), and a little about Bikester and Addnature?
The father of our founder René Köhler, Rolf Köhler, was a long-established bike seller in Stuttgart and had a traditional bike shop just outside the city centre. It was in this shop that his son got his start in 2003, before switching to selling bikes via eBay. René became so successful that father and son decided to buy the URL fahrrad.de together. The company blossomed and opened many more bike and outdoor shops – both online and offline – throughout Europe. The entire Internetstores group has gradually grown out of this.
Our purpose is to get more people on bikes every day and enable everybody to explore the great outdoors. The Bikester and Addnature brands are essential for helping us achieve this.
Bikester is Europe’s #1 for bikes, clothing, equipment and accessories. We want to enable customers to get the most out of cycling. In March this year, we opened the first Bikester store in Stockholm. This marks the shop’s entry into a multi-channel strategy, which means being exactly where the customer wants us to be: online, at our ‘bricks ‘n’ mortar’ shops or on-site at the customer’s preferred location.
Addnature is one of Europe’s leading outdoor shops and a household name in Sweden. It’s been part of our group since 2013. Together with CAMPZ, it represents our outdoor expertise. Addnature has a shop in Stockholm and thus also operates a multi-channel strategy.
How come you have locations in Stuttgart, Berlin, Lyon and Stockholm?
Stuttgart is the birthplace of our company and the location of the Köhlers’ original shop. Therefore, we’ve remained true to our roots and have our headquarters in Stuttgart.
The more prominent and international a company becomes, the more important it is to find employees with international backgrounds. Berlin, known for its diversity, seemed the ideal location and in 2011 we opened an office there.
The Lyon and Stockholm locations are crucial for our Addnature, Bikester and Probikeshop shops. Scandinavia has a unique relationship to nature – so it seems only natural that Addnature is based there, in Stockholm. Since Addnature became part of the Internetstores group, a large part of our outdoor expertise has been centred around our Stockholm office. Additionally, Bikester’s Nordic stores are mostly run from this office.
Probikeshop was founded in 2005 and has been part of the Internetstores group since 2017. The head office, logistics and concept store are all located in Chaponnay, near Lyon.
With these different locations, we’re able to combine our diverse areas of expertise while also being geographically closer to our customers.
When was Addnature established, and how did you become part of the Internetstores family?
Addnature is based on an idea three friends – Mathias, Klas and Martin – had while riding in a ski lift in Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. In 2000, the trio decided to create the first Swedish online shop for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. Their idea was so successful that they were soon able to open a physical store in Stockholm to cover the needs of local outdoor fans. As it grew hand in hand with the outdoor market, Addnature became the most-visited specialist outdoor webshop on the Scandinavian outdoor scene.
To help meet its goal of providing customers with the best possible product range, Addnature merged with Internetstores in 2013.
This merge was a key step towards strengthening our market position in Europe and expanding our product range.
And now you’re also in charge of Bikester in the Nordics?
Bikester’s Nordic shops began trading in 2012 – after Addnature joined the family, we started using our Stockholm location for our Nordic bike business. Over the last few years, we’ve invested in the team and business to become the go-to for Nordic bike customers. Among other things, this has resulted in a brand-new Bikester store in Stockholm and a new local warehouse in Helsingborg. Furthermore, we’ve introduced a service partner network, where we work with local bike dealers to provide an even better customer experience.
In which countries are you active?
We operate around 40 online specialist shops across 14 countries, including fahrrad.de, Brügelmann, Bikester, Probikeshop, CAMPZ and Addnature. In Germany, you’ll find fahrrad.de shops in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Dortmund, supplemented by a nationwide network of around 200 service partners. Addnature and Bikester stores in Stockholm and Probikeshop in Lyon complete the family.
Where do you see the company in five years?
Our goal is to be the first choice for European bike and outdoor customers. Having grown around 20% yearly with significant profitability, we’re confident we’ll achieve this within the next five years.
How many people currently work for the company? Are you planning to expand?
We currently employ around 800 people in Stuttgart, Berlin, Lyon and Stockholm. In Stockholm, about 45 people work in the office, with 34 more at the Addnature and Bikester stores. Due to our rapid growth, we’re always looking for talented people. Take a look at our open positions!
What’s the average age of your employees?
The average age of our employees is approximately 33.
What attitude do you look for in people applying to work at the company?
We’re bike and outdoor enthusiasts, so we’re looking for people who will inspire others to cycle and get outdoors!
Being able to see things from the customer’s perspective is also very important for us because we aim to create fans, not customers. From development through to marketing and logistics, sport and exercise are in our DNA.
What’s fun about working at your company? Do you offer any employee benefits?
One of our core values is that we’re better together. Therefore, we define ourselves as one team – within and across departments and locations. We welcome every new addition to the team with open arms. Besides this team spirit, we offer every new colleague a varied job, as well as a comfortable, professional home with a great atmosphere.
At Internetstores, there are people from all over the world, with diverse professional backgrounds and personalities who share the common goal of making our company as successful as possible.
To sum it up: we’re offering a future-proof job with plenty of scope for creativity. And of course, there are some fantastic benefits: in Stockholm, we offer the ITP1 pension, a generous parental leave salary, 5000 SEK per year for wellness (gym, massages, sports etc.) and 33% staff discount on all products at Addnature and Bikester. Also, we give employees half a day off for their birthdays and two hours per week for working out or looking after themselves.
Whereabouts is your office?
The office is on Uddvägen – easily accessible from all over town. Of course, we encourage our employees to cycle, run or walk to work, but you can easily get to us by bus or tram as well.
One great thing about our location is that we’re on the border between the city of Stockholm and the Nacka nature reserve. This means we can go trail running, cycling or even swimming on our lunch breaks!
Did you get help from an interior designer for your office?
We designed everything ourselves and only got a little help in finding the right furniture. Regarding the design: we wanted a calm, outdoorsy vibe in the open spaces and a good working environment in the ‘office’ spaces.
We were so involved in the design of the office that we even designed and built some of the furniture ourselves, as there was nothing suitable to buy. It’s truly the perfect office for us!
What’s unique about your office?
It’s unique because we’ve tried to show who we are with different colours and materials. Most of the office has some link to nature, with a ‘toned-down’ feeling in the open spaces. The interior design represents our interests and areas of business. As a visitor, you definitely get the feeling we’re an outdoor- and bike-driven company.
And as already mentioned, our location on the edge of a nature reserve is also pretty cool!
Thank you Internetstores team for the interview and photoshoot!
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