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Case study

Holzweiler – Bringing local brand values to a global audience

Holzweiler is one of the fastest growing brands in the Nordics – running a successful direct-to-consumer business while creating a community and lifestyle around their contemporary brand

Background

The Oslo based, family‑run fashion brand Holzweiler was founded by siblings Andreas and Susanne Holzweiler along with Maria Skappel Holzweiler in 2012. After initially starting out as an agency and distributor for other contemporary brands, Holzweiler went on to become a multi‑brand retailer before eventually emerging into a brand in their own right. Today, almost 10 years later, Holzweiler is the fastest growing fashion brand in Norway.

The challenges

Holzweiler started out selling through their own physical multi‑brand flagship stores before eventually diving into digital commerce. The brand had great success in both fields, and the e‑commerce operation attracted a lot of visitors and traffic by initially blending the Holzweiler brand with other contemporary brands which they had distribution rights for.

Seeing the online potential, they continued expanding the e‑commerce branch which had great success in the Nordics from the get‑go. But as their popularity grew, so did the issues with their previous monolithic e‑commerce platform. Difficulties of scaling and managing multiple individual stores on multiple international markets made scaling the business difficult. Also, costs and limitations of implementing new technology stacked up, as Holzweiler's previous e‑commerce platform needed a lot of tweaks and customization. As a result, TCO became higher than necessary. Both in terms of constantly having to invest in new feature development – but also in terms of the many man‑hours needed to administer the complex architecture that their previous e‑commerce setup was built upon.

Holzweiler realized that they needed to shake things up to stay in the lead, and started looking for a new platform that would enable them to grow and express the true emotional values that they’d created with their core audience in Oslo, Norway.

Composable requirements

To continue growing, they quickly identified the benefits of going for a headless/composable solution. Mainly for three reasons:

The first reason was design. Holzweiler wanted to make a stronger digital impression, which their previous template‑based platform didn’t allow. They saw huge benefits of choosing a composable platform that allowed them to build a custom‑designed front‑end experience that did their strong branding and identity justice. 

Secondly, they were tired of their old CMS and wanted to work with a headless‑CMS that their e‑commerce team could work efficiently with. The team was experienced in WordPress, and Centra had many reference cases, including the e‑commerce success stories: Ideal of Sweden, Db Journey, and Sandqvist Bags and Items – who all had WordPress as the headless CMS under the good.

Finally, Holzweiler wanted more flexibility in terms of technology. Their e‑commerce team had a lot of technical experience and understood the benefits that came with taking a best‑of‑breed approach for selecting the tech‑stack. By handpicking technology, they could build a site that helped them scale and reach their global ambitions – without needing to build new integrations for the technology that brands of a similar sort are looking for.

We had great traction in our local market before moving to Centra, but realized we quickly needed something that we could scale globally on. Our new setup on Centra is perfectly tuned for our future ambitions

Head of Digital at Holzweiler

Signing with Centra

After a thorough evaluation, Holzweiler signed with Centra and teamed up with the Norwegian digital agency, Frend Digital, to build a new online experience that would bring digital life to the strong brand values that were built in their hometown of Oslo. The e‑commerce team was strengthened by recruiting Marius Valaker – an experienced e‑commerce manager most known for building the success of Db Journey, which is another brand that has used Centra’s technology to reach new heights. Marius had seen the Centra platform’s capabilities first hand and was brought in to lead Holzweiler’s new digital expansion. After mapping out the new tech‑stack, the digital agency Frend Digital started building and implementing the new digital flagship store, which was delivered in less than 6 months.

Holzweiler storefront

Image description: Holzweileroslo.com was built by the Norwegian digital agency Frend Digital

The results: 176 percent e‑commerce growth with strong future estimations

Since switching to Centra in 2020, Holzweiler’s e‑commerce sales have gone through the roof – growing e‑commerce revenue by an astonishing 176 percent within the first year. The brand has since then made key recruitments to the e‑commerce team, and now has a tight‑knit team of five people serving the brand's 20 markets globally. Holzweiler has a even brighter future awaiting. The numbers speak for themselves: 

  • 176% e‑commerce net growth during 2020

  • Five e‑commerce team members managing a global operation

  • One store, globally

176%e-commerce net growth during 2020
5e-commerce team members managing a global operation
Onestore, globally