Detlev Louis Motorrad-Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH is Europe’s largest trading company for motorcycle clothing and accessories. The range includes over 37,000 products from over 400 brands. Louis attaches particular importance to high availability, fast and reliable delivery and extensive services.
Do they have something for us too? The range of products offered by the specialist trade is not always the same as the needs of the four-wheeler faction. It’s easier with a chain store like Louis. We are guaranteed to find something for us among the unbelievable number of product and merchandise groups. After all, we also need clothes, tools and leisure items. Let’s take a look around.
So, off to the company’s headquarters in Hamburg. Chaos reigns here! But only in storage. Because modern logistics makes use of what is known as “chaotic storage”, in which a computer decides which product is stored where on the 50,000 m² logistics area. Therefore, for example, handlebars with handlebars or exhaust systems are not necessarily on the shelf together with mufflers. This is the only way to make optimal use of every square centimeter of storage space. Absolutely necessary when you consider that up to 6,500 parcels are sent to end customers all over Europe every day. In addition, the branches are supplied with up to 450 Euro pallets, also daily. A total of 1,800 people are employed at Louis.
The motto: motorcycle in the heart
The company was founded in Hamburg in 1938 as a small motorcycle workshop. In the 1960s it developed into the largest motorcycle dealer in Germany. Since 1996 the company has concentrated exclusively on the sale of motorcycle clothing and accessories. To this day, Louis carries the philosophy of the company’s founder Detlev Louis, who was an enthusiastic motorcycle and racing driver, in his genes. This enthusiasm is contagious and not only in Hamburg you get the impression that people like to work here. “We share the passion of our customers,” explains press officer Kay Blanke. “You can experience that every time you come into contact with Louis, whether it’s talking to our teams in a branch or surfing through the online shop.” Employees are therefore constantly trained to provide a special service to customers. Even in an in-house academy. In the retail sector in particular – after all, there are over 80 Louis shops in Germany and neighboring countries – the employees see themselves not just as salespeople, but primarily as competent advisors. In addition, Louis trains over 60 apprentices each year in a wide variety of professions.
Of course, this also carries over to the quad and ATV fan who rummages through Louis. How does a helmet have to fit? How does a climate membrane work? Why tested protectors instead of foam rubber? How do you make chrome shine again? Questions that we will certainly share with motorcyclists. The staff knows an answer and is only satisfied when the customer is too. Another philosophy that the founder wrote in the specifications. So we find clothing that is ideally suited for use on the ATV. Whether on tour or in difficult terrain. You can arm yourself from head to toe for any use on four wheels. When you arrive at your destination or in the paddock, you pitch your tent and treat yourself to some luxury with high-quality outdoor and camping items. In this respect, we differ only slightly from the two-wheeler group. And after all, screwing is done with the same tool, which can also be found on the shelves or on the screen.
Many own brands
The customer can fall back on many products from well-known manufacturers in all sectors, but also on high-quality brands that Louis sells exclusively. “Every item, explains Kay Blanke, is tested in the workshop or in quality management before it is added to the portfolio.” Only that which has proven itself in practice reaches the customer. Louis allows us to test too. For example, with the 24-hour test drive option for all helmets in the branches. The online shop, for example, offers countless opportunities for information. All operating and assembly instructions, exploded views and safety instructions are available here around the clock free of charge.
And if something goes wrong, at Louis you react quickly, flexibly and unbureaucratically. The employees in the branches have a great deal of leeway when it comes to dealing with complaints. These are also processed immediately at company headquarters: the customer receives a detailed answer within 48 hours.
In this way, you become Europe’s No. 1 mail-order company and the test winner in reader polls in the trade press. And as a company you first have to be 80 years old. Last year Louis celebrated the anniversary with numerous promotions and smart offers.
This is contagious and we want to introduce you to one or the other Louis product in the future, which we have checked for quad suitability and, ideally, also for its fun factor. After all, it comes from the Fun Company from Hamburg.
Text and photos: Louis; Ralf Wilke