The German group Vorwerk expands in France and chooses Marseille

success story
The German group Vorwerk expands in France and chooses Marseille
Pierre-Yves Buisson, Vorwerk France CEO, Cécile Gris-Mercier and Sébastien Richard, private chef in Marseille
08 January 2020 / doing business in provence, Franchises & Concept Stores, invest in provence

Immersion in a growing historical group

The German group Vorwerk, which is best known for its famous Thermomix® multipurpose food preparation system, specializes in innovative, high-end household appliances. Now it is ushering in a new era. After building its success almost exclusively through in-home sales, it is establishing a network of brick-and-mortar shops.

These concept stores in large European cities aim to attract a more urban customer base. Marseille was selected to play a role in this growth strategy. 

Before the move, Provence Promotion, the investors' agency for the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis, supplied Vorwerk with extensive economic data about the area.

The shop opened on November 8, 2019, at Terrasses du Port, an ideal location for its second physical point of sale in France.

Since 1883, innovation has been the cornerstone of Vorwerk. In 1929, the company was the first to market a portable vacuum-broom under the Kobold brand, then a revolutionary food processor-cooker in the 1960s: the uber-famous Thermomix®.

This pioneering spirit still permeates the brand's world. In its hometown of Wuppertal, an R&D center employs a staff of nearly 100 who continuously enhance the company's products with the most modern features (Wi-Fi programming, touchscreens, connected recipes, etc.).

While the brand never ceases to evolve from a technical point of view, its latest innovation lies in the diversification of its distribution network. Historically, Vorwerk marketed exclusively through direct selling, but in the last few years, it has been opening shops in urban areas.

Now the concept is paying off. There are already 50 stores in Germany. Three shops have opened in Austria, one in the United Kingdom, one in Spain, one in Paris in 2017 and now one in Marseille.

Vorwerk chooses Marseille for its French expansion

The store concept is based on proximity and merges design with comfort. Each selling space recreates the ambiance of an open-plan home, where customers can participate in Thermomix® cooking workshops or test the Kobold, which "vacuums and cleans at the same time" because experiencing the products is still part of the brand's core strategy.

"Helping customers learn to use our products is certainly one of our strengths. In the Bouches-du-Rhône area, we already have 300 in-home advisers who are all Vorwerk experts. Many of them host 'Getting Started' workshops in their customers' homes and now they can invite those customers to the shop," explains Bruno Romuald, Director of Development for Vorwerk France.

During the research phase, Provence Promotion provided Vorwerk with a variety of economic information about the region, its trade areas, retail volumes and the tourism industry.

Vorwerk France ultimately decided to open its second shop in Marseille at Terrasses du Port. This shopping center in the heart of the city and on the water's edge is a premium location for the high-end brand. Marseille is growing, modernizing and attracting: the opening of the Vorwerk store proves that it can appeal to big companies.

This new retail outlet creates seven jobs and more are planned for the future to reinforce the sales team in the field.