The British online retailer AO World has opened its online store in the Netherlands. After launching in Germany last year, AO now wants to sell household appliances like washing machines and refrigerators to Dutch consumers. It will try to beat the local competition with a best price guarantee, free delivery and trade-in of old products.
AO.nl is live and now consumers from the Netherlands can shop online for washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, kitchen stoves, ovens and exhaust hoods. The assortment is a lot smaller than it is in AO’s home country the United Kingdom, but maybe other product categories will be added in the future.
AO happy with results in UK and Germany
The launch of AO in the Netherlands was already announced last year. Back then CEO John Roberts said he was happy with the results of his company in the UK as well as in Germany, AO’s first international market. During the first six months since its launch in Germany, AO generated more than 7 million euros in turnover and was set to generate about 30 million euros in its first twelve months.
Local presence in Utrecht
Customers in the Netherlands will get their ordered goods from warehouses in Germany, where – according to Neuhandeln.de – the company is still struggling with the fact that many rides with their own delivery fleet don’t go as expected, because too few good were transported. A branch office will open in Utrecht, where AO wants to employ a local team for procurement and the customer support.
Fierce competition in the Netherlands
Now AO has launched in the Netherlands, it has to compete with some big, established companies. Market leader is the German company Media Markt, which sells white goods online and in its physical stores at A-locations. And there are some big Dutch companies like multi-channel player Coolblue and pure players Bol.com and Wehkamp.nl. It will be interesting to see how AO can keep pace with these household names. AO is already trying to lure consumers into buying with them, by promoting the website via Google Adwords. In Germany, AO started with TV ads, nine months after its launch there.
AO is likely to expand into other European countries, probably markets which can be well served from Germany, such as Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.