Dutch company Hema tests new markets via Amazon and La Redoute

Hema is expanding its online presence in Europe by selling items via marketplaces Amazon and La Redoute. This is Hema’s way to test the water in countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. By selling via popular marketplaces Hema can get foreign shoppers acquainted with the Dutch company.

This is what Joke Vink, head of Hema’s e-DC, announced during the ‘Logistiek & E-commerce’ event last week. She shared Hema’s online vision by telling about the focus on multichannel and the internationalization of the Dutch company. Hema will be focusing on its websites in France, Belgium and Germany, delivering throughout Europe and selling its products via Amazon and the French marketplace La Redoute. Also, on the short-term, Hema wants to open websites in the United Kingdom and Spain.

Hema in Spain and the UK
The launch of online Hema stores in these two countries does not come completely out of the blue as it recently opened their first brick-and-mortar stores in Madrid (on April 3) and London (on June 12). But opening just one offline store is something completely different from launching an online store selling thousands of products.

That’s why Hema is testing by selling items via marketplaces first. “We will take care of the fulfilment ourselves and we hope this way we can attract new customers from new countries. And at a certain point in time we will go live with our own stores and website”, Vink told Dutch ecommerce magazine Twinkle.

Hema struggles in the Netherlands
Four years ago, Hema opened a separate logistics center solely for online orders, as “fulfillment for online orders requires an entirely different approach, much more customer-centric.” In its home country the Netherlands, Hema showed some negative results, what even led to Lion Capital, owner of Hema, placing the Dutch company under receivership. One of Lion Capitol’s demands was that the EBIT of Hema wouldn’t be under the €120 million mark. Last month however it became known that Hema posted an operating profit of 119 million euros last year.