27 May Next step UK - WE take over Firebox.com
Officially, the whole thing sounds like this:
The Vorarlberg e-commerce service provider MH direkt continues its growth course with the takeover of the British cult web shop Firebox ( https://firebox.com/). The primary goal is to develop the English market (UK), which continues to be the largest e-commerce market in Europe. In doing so, both the business customer and the end customer business are to be significantly expanded.
But beyond the PR-speak of official announcements, we want to tell you here why we did it and what we thought about it.
Since we launched our own online shop radbag.de and released it into the vastness of the internet - that was 10 years ago now - Firebox.com has been our role model. And in terms of branding, positioning and communication, I think we can still learn a lot from them.
Now we have bought them.
Despite Brexit and all the warnings about its dangers.
And there are two main reasons for this:
The first reason: we want to grow. Not only in the markets where we are already present, but also beyond. And we can't ignore the UK; after all, with a turnover of around $100 billion (as of 2019), it is by far the largest e-commerce market in Europe. In order to develop this market for us, a company like Firebox comes just at the right time, because it gives us the opportunity to build up local warehouse and fulfilment capacities in order to also win online retailers as business customers in the UK, because especially in such a large market, there is naturally also a need for 360° e-commerce service providers like us, who are able to offer all the services that are needed for a functioning online business in the form of customised solutions.
The second reason concerns our B2C business. Here, too, the signs are pointing to growth, i.e. we also want to broaden our base in the future, gain more customers and generate more orders accordingly. We see many synergies and opportunities for cooperation in the shop area: Firebox has a great team with 30 employees, a very strong brand and a lot of creativity in marketing and product development. We, on the other hand, have better margins (especially for our own, often customisable products), a better infrastructure and more sustainable processes in production and fulfilment. And we also have a strong team that understands how to solve complex tasks methodically and continuously evolve in the process.
If we succeed in combining these strengths and learning from each other, everyone will benefit.
Of course, it's not quite that easy and there will be a lot of water running down the Thames until everything works out. But not only have we thought it through, we have chosen a company for this step that we know inside out. Also in view of the fact that we cannot ignore the British online market, which - as we believe - will rather benefit from Brexit, if we want to build up a European gift shop and at the same time distinguish ourselves as a European e-commerce service provider. For this, a strong presence in the UK is essential.
So much for the plan.
Are we afraid?
Anything else would probably not be appropriate. Optimism, however, is.
PS: If you would like it to be more official, you can download the corresponding press release here .
Our Big Boss is the second generation to run MH|direkt and, as the saying goes, is always keen to get things moving and the herd trotting. As a studied business economist and e-commerce specialist of the first order, who is equally at home in technology as he is in marketing, and who is vigorously driving forward the expansion of MH|direkt into a modern service, production, logistics and overall everything business.