Brand History: The origins of Wehkamp

Brand History: The origins of Wehkamp

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Het bedrijf werd in 1952 als “Wehkamp’s Fabriekskantoor” opgericht door Herman Wehkamp in Slagharen. De artikelen, aanvankelijk matrassen en bedtextiel, werden door de klanten per post besteld naar aanleiding van advertenties in radiobodes en vrouwenbladen. Ook het verzenden verliep grotendeels via de post. Wehkamp werkte daarbij vanuit een magazijn in aanvankelijk Slagharen, later Dedemsvaart.  

Een belangrijke rol in het succes van postorderbedrijf Wehkamp speelde mechanisatie van de administratie en het adressenbestand. Ook het betalen in termijnen deed al snel na de oprichting zijn intrede, met succes! Na tien jaar voorspoedige groei verkocht Herman Wehkamp in 1962 zijn aandelen aan The Great Universal Stores plc in Londen. In 1969 kwam er een distributiecentrum voor grotere artikelen in Maurik bij en in 1975 verhuisde het hoofdkantoor naar de huidige vestigingsplaats Zwolle. In 1985 zette Wehkamp een belangrijke technologische stap door als eerste in NL een “voice response” systeem in te schakelen. Via dit systeem, genaamd “Jimmy”, kunnen klanten 24 uur per dag hun bestellingen plaatsen via de telefoon.

In 1995 baarde Wehkamp opzien met de start van haar eigen WEBSITE – uniek in die tijd – , met als trekker onder meer een veiling van een beperkt aantal artikelen. Halverwege 1999 waren alle artikelen op de site te vinden. Sinds 2008 is, zoals het bedrijf van nu af aan heet,  onderdeel van RFS Holland Holding BV. Het bedrijf RFS is marktleider op het gebied van online winkelen in NL. Per jaar heeft zo’n 84 miljoen bezoekers, ca. 1,6 miljoen vaste klanten en 5 miljoen zendingen (vanuit distributiecentra Dedemsvaart en Maurik). Het assortiment bestaat uit 100.000 artikelen verdeeld over Fashion, Living & Hardware.

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