Speakers

Through the program is leading you:
Dr. Kai Hudetz, Chief Executive Officer, IFH Institute for Retail Research

There are reporting our Speakers from real life about the key-topics:

THE DIGITAL FUTURE OF THE FURNITURE INDUSTRY

Kai Hudetz has been Chief Executive Officer of the IFH Institute for Retail Research (Institut für Handelsforschung GmbH) in Cologne since August 2009. Prior to this, he was Director of the institute’s E-Commerce Centre (ECC Köln), having been one of the group behind its founding in 1999. His many years of experience have made Dr. Hudetz one of the most sought-after e-commerce experts in Germany. He has authored a number of studies and many specialist articles on current issues in retail in the digital era. In addition to teaching as a visiting lecturer at various universities, Kai Hudetz is a popular speaker and moderator at leading industry events. Dr. Hudetz also sits on a number of advisory and supervisory boards.

Jürgen Leuschel is Chief Executive Officer of Sunchairs GmbH & Co. KG, which owns the online store massivum for real wood furniture. With online stores in Germany and France, sales on marketplaces and the company’s five bricks-and-mortar outlets, massivum generates annual sales of 20 million euros. Its objective is profitable growth with annual sales in the three-digit range.

Jürgen Leuschel holds a diploma in Business Administration. Before joining Sunchairs GmbH & Co. KG, he served in various roles, including Controller at a carmaker and Managing Director of an IT company.

VIRTUAL WORLDS AND SMART TECHNOLOGIES

Dr. Franco Lehman is the Head of Digital Business at Interstuhl Büromöbel GmbH. He coordinates digital activities in Germany and internationally, with his responsibilities including digital commerce, digital communications and digital business development. Previously he was a Partner at a digital branding agency for many years and worked on various projects in search marketing & online strategy, primarily in the B2B sector.

Frank Stegert is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of 99chairs. His passion is reimagining people’s lives in the future and using technology to create world-changing innovations. Before he founded 99chairs, Frank worked on diverse commercial projects in different industries. His work, both in Germany and abroad, initially focused on advising medium-sized and large companies in the fields of retail, automotive and technology. He was also involved in several initiatives to promote innovation and support new businesses. Frank studied Mathematics and Technology Management at the Technical University of Munich. He enjoys meeting new people and loves a frank discussion.

Entrepreneur & Business Developer. Co-founder of Tylko. Manages Tylko’s business development and partner relations. Benjamin studied Law at the University of Vienna. On his 5th year he decided to drop-out in order to dedicate himself fully to starting Tylko. During his studies, he was helping ‘Fashion TV’ - the worlds largest Fashion TV network, manage operations in Poland. In his third year of studies he a young corporate finance boutique - Pallas Capital, where he later became Head of Business Development. Ben helped scale Pallas’ operations to EUR 20m transaction volume per year.

He has also co-founded Startup Poland, a non-profit organisation uniting founders to raise awareness of best practices from other countries to make the life of a founder more hassle free.

ONLINE MARKETING AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Stefan Smalla is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Westwing Home & Living. The company is represented in 14 countries across three continents. Before founding Westwing, Stefan Smalla worked for seven years as a Senior Manager at Bain & Company. Prior to this, he founded an online social network in the early days of the internet and was Vice-President of E-Commerce and CTO at dooyoo. He holds a diploma in Business Administration from the TU Dresden and the distance-learning university Fernuniversität Hagen. Stefan Smalla grew up in Dresden.

Andrea Fischer is the managing director in charge of digital products at SCHÖNER WOHNEN magazine and the online community ROOMIDO.

Bettina Billerbeck is editor-in-chief at SCHÖNER WOHNEN magazine. Previously, she was deputy editor-in-chief at the German women's magazine "myself", and editor-in-chief at "Maxi" and "Living at Home".

Panel discussion on the subject:
Will online shopping replace bricks-and-mortar shops in future?

Marcel Bewersdorf has successfully led the online marketing and e-commerce division at POCO Einrichtungsmärkte GmbH in Germany as Divisional Director since 2011. Under his leadership, the company has made great strides in digitalising its operations, and the POCO brand has been considerably and effectively strengthened. Today, the e-commerce division in Germany that he heads up achieves sales in the high double-digit million range and clearly contributes to the company’s success.

His existing responsibilities were expanded in 2015 to include the Netherlands and Poland, with his brief being to achieve digital objectives in the markets of the future.

  • General Management and business development of up to 650 people in 5 countries
  • International work and living experience in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America
  • Creation and commercialization of new business opportunities / products and architect innovative solutions for clients
  • 10 year in sales and marketing for B2B and B2C services and fast moving, high value consumer goods Negotiations for trade, divestures, mergers & acquisitions and development of multicultural alliance partnerships
  • Management of complex information technology and country roll-out projects
  • Industries: telecom, retail, internet, outsourcing services for customer care and supply chain, medical devices,
  • consulting

In 1981, whilst still students, Peter Schönhofen and his friend Jürgen Reiter founded the first KARE store for shelving and affordable home design in the heart of Munich, taking “staged living theatre” as their slogan. After graduating with a first in Business Administration, Schönhofen focused on expanding KARE Design GmbH. Further retail branches followed, and in parallel he built up the wholesale business. The next step was the international expansion of the KARE franchise system. Today KARE has 100 stores and is present in almost 50 countries worldwide. Other business areas include e-commerce, the fashion spin-off Stierblut and a dedicated business unit for the contract furniture business. As Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Schönhofen is responsible for marketing and sales, and is heading up the expansion of the company’s international network. He is married with two daughters.

Interactive session: round table discussions
Discuss in our interactive Session with an expert of your choice. Work out in small groups solutions for your everyday business.

After successfully completing his studies in business administration in Chemnitz and Berlin, Mario Löwe worked as a project manager and account director for several international internet and marketing agencies (incl. Namics, BBDO Proximity and DigitasLBi). Since 2012, he has been Senior Online Marketing Manager in charge of online marketing at Küche&Co GmbH – a member of the otto group.

His key areas of focus are in the fields of digitalisation of the furniture and kitchen industries, as well as the interconnecting of online and bricks-and-mortar business.

A Partner of eTribes Connect GmbH since 2014 and an entrepreneur, speaker, advisory board member and e-commerce expert with operational experience. He holds a diploma in Business Administration and has been intensely involved in e-commerce and digital business models for many years. As a Partner at eTribes, he manages the home & living division and supports companies with the development of new business models with his solid industry experience. Pierre Haarfeld is also the author of many specialist articles on strategy for digital business models in the furniture industry.

Since completing his studies in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, Dietmar Giese has worked for many years in and between marketing and IT. After ten years in a venture capital company, he now helps large companies to address the challenges presented by digital transformation, which, as he says, always begins with a look at the customer.

Christiane has been an e-commerce consultant at Ve Interactive DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) since August 2014 and, as Team Leader, has been responsible for the travel sector since 2016. Christiane was inspired by her year-long trip around the world – after gaining professional expertise as a trainee, and later project manager, in corporate development at Tchibo. Her primary areas of responsibility at Tchibo were the development and management of the expansion and operation of online sales and fulfilment as well as the launch and fulfilment management of the new online sales channel “Mein Privat Kaffee” ("My Private Coffee"). Christiane gained her master’s degree in marketing at the University of St Andrews.

Training as media designer (IHK/German Chamber of Industry and Commerce)

Media industry studies at the Berufsakademie Heidenheim (Heidenheim Vocational Academy): Diplom-Betriebswirt (BA)

Business administration studies at the Open University London: Bachelor of Arts

2002-2009: Project Manager at allnatura.de

2005-2010: Managing Director at online furniture retailer dekultiv - design im haus

2011 to present: Managing Director at Möbel im Netz GmbH (Betten.de/Boxspringbetten.net)

Roman Rochel is Country Manager for Germany at Houzz, the leading platform for interior design, architecture and the home. Houzz inspires everyone wishing to remodel their home and brings them together with experts in furnishing and interiors, who turn their dream projects into reality – available online and by mobile (iOS & Android). Roman and his team produced the first local, non-English version of the platform. He is in charge at Houzz for all activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Roman Rochel studied business engineering, logistics and entrepreneurship, was a co-founder and CMO at 9flats.com as well as Head of International Operations for Groupon.

OMNICHANNEL STRATEGIES

In 1981, whilst still students, Peter Schönhofen and his friend Jürgen Reiter founded the first KARE store for shelving and affordable home design in the heart of Munich, taking “staged living theatre” as their slogan. After graduating with a first in Business Administration, Schönhofen focused on expanding KARE Design GmbH. Further retail branches followed, and in parallel he built up the wholesale business. The next step was the international expansion of the KARE franchise system. Today KARE has 100 stores and is present in almost 50 countries worldwide. Other business areas include e-commerce, the fashion spin-off Stierblut and a dedicated business unit for the contract furniture business. As Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Schönhofen is responsible for marketing and sales, and is heading up the expansion of the company’s international network. He is married with two daughters.

Thilo Haas graduated with a diploma in Technical Writing from Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Whilst still a student, he freelanced for Daimler, Volkswagen, Herrenknecht and other companies, and he programmed technical databases and content management systems. Thilo Haas founded Haas Media GmbH in 2002. He founded Connox GmbH with his school friend Kristian Lenz in 2005. Today the company is one of the market-leading German online stores for designer furniture and premium home accessories. The two entrepreneurs and their online store Connox are currently conquering Europe with domains in other countries — including some very different markets.

Franziska Krauskopf is a senior innovation adviser in the Hamburg office of TRENDONE. In her daily work, she focuses on the design and implementation of workshops and innovation strategy projects, as well as the conceptual preparation of trend studies. Independently, she leads board-level innovation and ideation workshops and gives lectures to national and international audiences on selected trends. Franziska is the primary contact for "La Futura", the annual industry gathering of futurologists and trend researchers. She already worked as a freelancer at TRENDONE during her studies and wrote her master’s degree dissertation on a jointly chosen subject: “The Future of External Services around Innovation Foresight in Germany – An Industry Analysis.”

She has a master’s degree from the Grenoble Ecole de Management in London.