BONN · For a few weeks now, you could order spirits from Floerke's Bonn fashion start-up. Customers have been attracted by relatively low prices. However, many of them are now angry about goods that have not been received.
The reactions that the Bonn start-up company Floerke have received over the past few weeks are not very flattering. The comment columns on the company's Facebook page speak of "cheeky", "disappointment" or "audacity". The tone on rating portals is similar. Customers of the start-up, which became known through the vox show "The Lion's Cave" and in which the Bonn investor Frank Thelen has a stake, thus vent their dissatisfaction with undelivered goods.
This is due to supply bottlenecks for spirits, which have been part of Floerkes' product range since October. Originally, the company's range consisted exclusively of fashion items. Under the heading "Men's Drinks", whiskey, vodka and gin can now be ordered on the website and from deal platforms - at remarkably low prices. This led to a veritable rush of customers, who are confronted with major problems by Floerke and its founder and managing director David Schirrmacher. According to the Internet portal "Gründerszene", around 40,000 orders for spirits have been received since mid-October - a figure that Schirrmacher himself had not expected.
Not enough storage capacity
Another problem: Since the founder had assumed that the wholesalers would deliver on time, he had already sent customers a shipping confirmation before the goods arrived at his premises. However, only about 15,000 orders could have be shipped by the beginning of this month, because the products had been delayed and Floerke did not have sufficient storage capacity or packaging material.
The sharp rise in turnover had in turn led to the payment service providers Paypal, Klarna and Amazon Pay freezing the company's accounts, which meant that cancellations could not be processed. As "Gründerszene" further reports, the Sparkasse had taken over with an emergency loan of 500,000 euros. In response to a GA request, Frank Thelen explained that he had meanwhile been able to obtain the activation of the accounts at Paypal. Von Floerke himself left a GA request unanswered on Friday.
Thelen criticizes Schirrmacher
In addition to many customers, the 26-year-old Schirrmacher also annoyed Thelen, whom he did not inform in advance about the realignment of the product range. "I am dissatisfied with the overall situation, because delivery problems and dissatisfied customers do not meet the expectations I have of my portfolio start-ups. The whole thing should have been planned better and more long-term, we should have been involved beforehand," says Thelen. Schirrmacher now has the supply bottlenecks under control as far as possible and has organised warehouses, cardboard boxes and goods in large quantities in the shortest possible time. In "a few days most orders could be shipped on time again“.
Von Floerke announced in a Facebook post on Friday that all orders placed after November 1 had been shipped within the delivery time. In addition, old orders will continue to be processed and all opened Paypal cases will be shipped or cancelled and refunded. Whether the angry customers will be satisfied with this, however, is uncertain.
(Original text: Matthias Kirch: Translation: Mareike Graepel)