In the presence of about 60 guests from management, politics and business, AO World Plc officially opened its new European headquarters in the Bergheim-Paffendorf business park. The company, one of Britain’s leading online providers of household appliances and consumer electronics, hopes to capture the European market from its site in Bergheim.
“With a commercial area of 84,000 square meters, a highly up-to-date central warehouse at 36,000 square meters and an appealing building for administration at 5,000 square meters, we have positioned ourselves as well as possible for this goal,” John Roberts, founder and CEO of AO World emphasized. Up to 2,500 people can work at the new headquarters, and the grounds have expansion potential. Currently, AO delivers to the entire German market and the Netherlands from its central warehouse in Bergheim. “We started successfully on the continent, and now we are building up new markets step by step,” Roberts said.
“The investment in the new build-to-suit AO European headquarters is pointing the way for the North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) site,” stressed Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann, representative for the Digital Economy NRW of the ministry for economy, energy, industry, mid-sized sector and craft for the federal state of North Rhine Westphalia. “We are happy to be increasingly developing into a leading location in Germany for online trading companies in the framework of digital transformation.”
British Consul-General Susan Speller congratulated AO on opening its European headquarters in Cologne-Bergheim. “I’m really pleased that AO, a company established in the United Kingdom, has been able to establish itself so quickly on the German market and to shape a strong client base. AO’s excellent business model, which places a high value on customer service, is being rewarded in this. This is another brilliant example of the close economic relationships between Great Britain and NRW,” Speller said. She also applauded the fact that NRW is celebrating its creation by the British military government 70 years ago during the same year a British company is also making such a forward-thinking investment in the state.
The district town Bergheim, particularly the municipal business development, supported the settlement of AO and ensured a smooth approval procedure, which enabled the fast construction of the build-to-suit site. “The European headquarters of AO is one of the largest investments Bergheim has seen in decades,” emphasized Maria Pfordt, mayor of the district town of Bergheim. “I am particularly glad that so many additional new jobs will be created in Bergheim,” she added. Currently, AO Germany employs 300 workers. Among these, about 180 come from the Bergheim region.