brands4friends.de is the world's fastest growing e-commerce company
Enormous growth on all levels: sales, workforce, unique visitors
The market leader currently employs 200 creative individuals in Berlin and is hiring more
Germany's largest online shopping club brands4friends.de is celebrating its second anniversary and a nationwide unique success story. Just in time for its birthday, the Berlin company has set another record for new employees and visitor numbers – and achieved its financial breakeven target. Following sales of roughly €25 million during the first full fiscal year (2008), brands4friends.de is now targeting sales of €85 million during the second full fiscal year (2009). In 2010 sales are anticipated to rise even more rapidly than the previous year. Currently brands4friends.de has 200 employees in Berlin and has evolved within just two years from a start-up to one of the world's fastest growing e-commerce companies.
Visitor record as a birthday present brands4friends.de sells exclusively brand goods and has rapidly developed from an attractive secondary sales channel for warehouse surpluses and remnant stocks into a major retail partner with up to 220,000 visitors a day – that's roughly three times more visitors than the largest German department store receives. In the traditionally sluggish month of August, which is normally even slow for online sales, the market leader registered a record 1.6 million unique visits. According to the latest figures from Nielsen Online, brands4friends.de has significantly outdistanced other online shopping clubs. And the trend continues: Every day as many as 10,000 new members sign up, making brands4friends one of the fastest growing e-commerce communities in the world. Additional growth is definitely in the pipeline, with a larger selection and international expansion as the key factors. Attractive new sales campaigns, for example, with furniture, consumer electronics and even cars will soon pleasantly surprise over 2 million brands4friends members. "We are proud of our 200 employees who contribute every day to the company's success. Working together we will achieve our ambitious growth plans. We've already had to revise our business plans upwards three times," says Christian Heitmeyer, co-founder and CEO of brands4friends.de. Constantin Bisanz is also upbeat about the company's prospects: "We've only just begun, but we're delighted with the rapid growth and the enormous influx of new members, despite the normally slow summer sales and the current economic downturn. We are benefiting from the economic crisis and are well on our way to overtaking big-name American e-commerce players."
Diversity and innovation as success factors brands4friends.de works exclusively with brand manufacturers who guarantee the 100% genuineness of the goods and ensure smooth-flowing logistics. Outstanding value for money plays a key role in this success, but the diversity of the range of products is also extremely important. In addition to established brands and well-known designers, brands4friends.de also constantly offers new and promising labels as an insider's tip. brands4friends.de is far more than just a purveyor with attractive prices – it's also a source of inspiration for fashions, styles and lifestyles: "We aim extremely high and continuously surprise our members with new offers and services. Procurers, trend scouts and IT professionals are constantly on the lookout for anything that can't be found anywhere else. Also when it comes to social media marketing, we like to rely on new channels, and we're one of the first German shopping clubs to use Facebook Connect," says Constantin Bisanz, co-founder and Managing Director of brands4friends.de.
An "outstanding" job machine The brands4friends success concept is paying off in a number of ways. Within just two years, the online shopping club has evolved from an idea to a medium-sized company that is one of the most popular employers in the German capital. Currently 200 employees from 15 countries work on 10,000 m² of space (107,000 ft.²) at the Berlin site, and more are being hired virtually every day. Next year the workforce is anticipated to expand to over 400. Christian Heitmeyer, cofounder and CEO: "brands4friends.de is planning on creating roughly 100 additional positions for experts, but also for motivated individuals looking to change careers and trainees in a range of areas, including IT, procurement, key accounts, production, customer service and marketing. We have consciously located our company in the heart of Berlin which, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting cities in Europe, where the most creative staff can be found. Our philosophy is that this "spirit" has a direct impact on the ideas and creativity of the workforce and contributes to the success of brands4friends.de." This strategy has paid off: brands4friends.de has received numerous awards for its innovative, creative and successful business approach and ranks among the finalists in the "entrepreneur of the year 2009" competition by Ernst & Young.
The shopping club concept of brands4friends.de
Everyone who is a member of the free brands4friends.de shopping club can purchase high-quality genuine products and save up to 70% on the manufacturer's recommended price.
Membership can be reached for instance by a recommendation by other members or have placed their name on the waiting list. Once registered, brands4friends.de immediately begins to send regular e-mails to new members, informing them of upcoming sales campaigns.
In addition to fashion and lifestyle products like clothing, cosmetics and children's articles, brands4friends.de offers home furnishings, jewelry and accessories from roughly 400 top brands during special sales campaigns for a limited time and quantity only.
brands4friends.de is Germany's
leading online shopping club, with currently over two million
registered club members and an average membership age of 32 years.
Nearly two years after its launch, brands4friends.de is one of the
fastest growing e-commerce communities in the world, with up to 10,000
new members daily. Roughly 50% of the new members come to
brands4friends.de by word of mouth on the recommendation of a friend.
brands4friends.de sells genuine items from renowned fashion and
lifestyle brands exclusively to its members at significantly reduced
prices. brands4friends.de offers on a daily basis limited special
offers for products from roughly 400 brands, representing both
overstocks from current collections as well as "off season" goods and
special collections. brands4friends.de went online in September 2007
and currently employs some 200 people at its headquarters in Berlin.
Founders and executive directors are Christian Heitmeyer (CEO) and
Constantin Bisanz. Additional founders are Nicolas Speeck and Mario
Zimmermann. The investors include Partech International, Mangrove
Capital Partners und Holtzbrinck Ventures. The business, operated by
Private Sales GmbH, was awarded last year the Vision Award in
conjunction with the "Visions: People. Media. Marketing" congress and
the innovation award "Online Shop of the Year 2008" by the jury of the
German Mail Order Congress. In addition, brands4friends.de was named
"INTERNET WORLD business idea 2008". The founders of brands4friends.de
were awarded the German Entrepreneur Award in November 2008, offered by
the Harvard Business School Association of Germany. This year
brands4friends.de was crowned the test winner by Computer Bild magazine
(rating: "good," Oct. 2009 edition) and was the only online shopping
club for fashion and lifestyle to receive the Trusted Shops seal of
approval. Currently the team at brands4friends.de is a finalist in the
competition for "entrepreneur of the year 2009" competition by Ernst
Graphic: brands4friends.de. Created based on current results by Nielsen Online in August, 2009 (Panel Home & Work).