Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Karstadt enters curated shopping business

Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH is moving decisively towards becoming a successful omnichannel retailer and is entering the curated shopping business. In the middle of April, substantial assets of the Berlin style consultancy start-up Kisura were acquired and set up as an independent subsidiary.

Since 2013, Kisura has been providing women’s fashion that has been put together by experienced stylists: Customers can specify their styling wishes on an online platform, and they will then receive a package containing an appropriate choice of items, which they can try on without obligation to purchase anything. The outfit is put together by a professional styling team and the latest technology, such as the internally developed product recommendation engine.

“Our goal of becoming one of the fastest growing retailers across all channels by 2020 also pushes us to build and integrate new skills,” explains Karstadt CEO, Dr Stephan Fanderl. “With this step, we have gained decisive expertise in terms of styling competence and system-supported, individual customer service.”

Karstadt CFO, Miguel M├╝llenbach, explains: “In the future, customer service will be neither purely stationary nor purely algorithmic, which is why retailers – and especially those with a high proportion of fashion – must master the connection between the two. Today, the market volume for retailers with a personal approach is already estimated at over USD 2 billion. This clearly provides opportunities which we intend to benefit from with Kisura.”

The founders of Kisura, Tanja Bogumil and Linh Nguyen, see new opportunities for the start-up: “We are pleased to continue providing our customers with the usual shopping service and to inspire them with a personal selection of fashion. At the same time, the business will benefit in the future from Karstadt’s many years of expertise in the procurement of goods and logistics.”

Tanja Bogumil and Linh Nguyen remain a part of the realigned company. The new office in the Karstadt department store at Hermannplatz in Berlin allows improved access to goods and the close link between the department store and online business.