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Dutch Fonq.nl expands further in Europe

Fonq.nl, an online department store, will be expanding further in Europe. This year it wants to open online stores in The United Kingdom, Austria and Scandinavia. It’s also planning to acquire other online shops to further expand its product line.

Fonq.nl was founded in 2003 and in these ten years it acquired six online stores. CEO Patrick Kerssemakers tells RetailNews: “It was pretty quiet in terms of acquisitions, the last couple of years, but now we will try and pick up the threads of this.” He’s in advanced negotiations, but the name of this company he won’t tell yet. But it’s clear Fonq.nl has its focus on stores that sell home decoration products, lamps and furniture.

Staying ahead of the competition
Kerssemakers is well aware that, at least in home country The Netherlands, there are a lot of online stores in this particular niche. But according to him these stores are just too small to gain success on their own. By acquiring these stores fully, Fonq.nl can put their whole product line on the website and thereby have access to all data of these little stores. It’s Fonq.nl’s way of staying ahead of its competition.

Fonq.nl already has online stores in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, but soon there will also be stores in The United Kingdom, Austria and Scandinavia. As far as the latter is concerned, the first store there will be opened in Sweden. But the online department store is also looking at opening a store in Norway, although that could be quite difficult. The country isn’t a member of the European Union, so it would be harder to open a store there because of all the customs papers.

Selling abroad turned out to be successful
In an interview with our Dutch website Webwinkel Weblog, Kerssemakers told us selling abroad turned out to be very successful for his company. “We started at the end of 2011 with our first foreign online shop, in Belgium and after that we soon started with Fonq.de, our German online store. And several months after that, we launched Fonq.fr, our online store in France.”

During that interview, which took place in September last year, he already told us about their plans to expand even further in Europe. An expansion to Poland or Austria would be in line with expectations, Kerssemakers told us. He also hinted at the launch of a Fonq store in Spain. “We’ve been experimenting in this country for quite some time. At first it seemed this wouldn’t be a success, but if the growth over there continues to increase this way, I won’t rule out a Spanish Fonq store.”

Fonq.nl recorded sales of 37 million euros in 2013, which was a 37 percent growth compared to the year before that. Fonq.nl was acquired by RFS Holland Holding in 2011, an investment company which also owns Wehkamp.nl, one of the biggest online stores in The Netherlands.

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