Stefan Puriss, CEO of Frontlineshop
29 Sep. 2011
Q&A: STEFAN PURISS, CEO FRONTLINESHOPLast week, Frontlineshop celebrated its 25th anniversary with opening a temporary pop-up store in Berlin’s Torstrasse 66 for one week full of events such as a Breakfast Club on the opening day, a BBQ by Carhartt, a 5-km-Girls Only run through Berlin-Mitte sponsored by Nike Sportswear, an Uslu Airlines nailpolish roulette evening, a Levi’s Print Workshop and a 24h Sale closing special. During this special week, we talked to CEO Stefan Puriss about the past 25 years for Frontlineshop, its success, and the future of the online shopping sector. Interview by Elisa Amelia Bausch
What was your aim of opening the pop-up store for just one week?
We wanted to pay tribute to our 25th anniversary and as Frontlineshop organizes an event each year to bring people closer to the brand’s philosophy, this was a good timing. Online shopping is different from a shopping experience in a real store, so it’s important to get in touch with the customers. The pop-up Store in Berlin was established for letting customers taste, feel, smell and touch the brand. The concept corresponded with the online shopping character: 24-hours shopping in the store, no changing rooms, getting inspired by the new collections and then hopefully ordering the desired fashion pieces with free express shipping via the computer terminal which was installed in the pop-up store. The aim was mainly to make the online shopping concept and of course especially our shop more emotional. By the way: It was the second Pop up Store. We opened the first one in Hamburg two years ago and it was a big success! Never change a winning concept.
Frontlineshop pop-up store in Berlin
How did brands like Nike, Carhartt, and Levi’s (Twothirds) get involved?
In our pop-up store you were able to get a preview on special anniversary pieces which were exclusively designed by several brands and designers that are cooperating with Frontlineshop. The results were, for instance, that Carhartt designed an exclusive jacket, Nike with an exceptional pair of shoes, Iriedaily designed shirts and a jacket to represent the brands’ friendship, Levi’s and Stüssy with a redesign of one of its famous items, and Wemoto, which had designed a shirt with the face of Frontlineshop founder Torsten Lange, to celebrate “The founders” work.
What was the most important episode in your 25 years brand history? How does Frontlineshop set itself apart?
One of the most important happenings was when Frontlineshop, which was first founded by Torsten Lange for music mailorder named “Funhouse Records”, changed into an online shop for streetwear during the crisis of the music business in 1990. We have come a long way because now Frontlineshop is the leading online shopping platform for streetfashion with more than 250 brands in its portfolio. Our company sets itself apart from other online shopping brands - although the competition is growing. And this is because of our target group concept we are working with: the contacts, partnering brands and the community are loyal.
Frontlineshop is a traditional brand which can look back onto 25 years of experience, the brand now benefits from this.
Do you think that a concept like a permanent pop-up store would have a future?
Right now I think there will be no permanent shop for Frontlineshop so the products will be only offered online, staying true to our roots. A concept like a pop-up store could be quite boring if it’s a permanent event. We definitely would try out other concepts like this, but our core is the online business. We don’t know, how technologies will change within the next ten years. Therefore the pop-up store concept or other ideas can be developed and improved. We are always open for new and innovative concepts!
Frontlineshop pop-up store in Berlin
How does Frontlineshop see the future of the online sector? Will there still be real shops in the future?
The online sector will not replace brick-and-mortar stores but the situation is not easy. To resolve these difficulties, the fashion business, including online and real stores, have to work together in a better way.
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