Jürgen Schuster, Managing Director of Garten-und-Freizeit.de
As the leading German online shop for high quality garden and leisure furniture, Garten-und-Freizeit.de has a head start on many companies when it comes to digitalisation. We spoke with Jürgen Schuster, Managing Director of Garten-und-Freizeit.de, about this.
Dear Mr Schuster, were you able to further expand your online shop as a result of the corona crisis?
Schuster: The corona crisis did in fact give the online shops of Raumschmiede® GmbH, and especially those of Garten-und-Freizeit.de and Garten-und-Freizeit.at a sustained push. Although our organisation was already fairly far along with regard to digitalisation, we were nonetheless able to make further improvements in areas like remote working. This will help us in future, for example, with recruiting.
One's own little green space has become a hub of life for many people during the crisis. Were you able to register an increase in orders?
Schuster: Like most, if not all garden furniture traders, we are currently experiencing a real boom in demand, which is already bringing us close to our limits during the main season. Orders approximately doubled in comparison with the previous year, both during the lockdown and after the reopening of stationary stores. Like during the crisis of 2008/2009, we are this year once again observing a cocooning effect, which, however, now has a much more intensive character than the last time.
Products from Garten-und-Freizeit.de can currently only be delivered packaged to the house or apartment door. Additional services like furniture assembly or repairs are currently not possible according to your website. Are these additional services planned again for the future?
Schuster: Both our shipping service providers and our own delivery teams have had to dispense with some additional services since the beginning of the lockdown in order to protect our customers and employers. We will gradually be offering services again in the near future together with our partner, the Hermes setup service. Everything will once again be as it was in this regard as of mid-June.
We are pleased that you are once again visiting spoga+gafa this year. Which products are you looking forward to the most? Are you focusing particularly on the guiding principle of the trade fair of "sustainability" in your product research?
Schuster: This year too, we are once again looking forward to seeing increasingly "cosier" furniture with pleasant outdoor textiles. Such furniture, which also makes a claim to value, just like furniture that is manufactured for the most part from recycling materials, offers a significant chance to achieve more sustainability in the outdoor furniture segment. I would also like to add that, also in keeping with this, we are more intensively looking for European suppliers and would like to advance the theme of "repair possibilities" with all of our suppliers.
Dear Mr Schuster, many thanks for your time. We look forward to being able to welcome you to spoga+gafa in Cologne from 6 to 8 September 2020.