From Burnley to San Francisco: local firm heads stateside

A Burnley eCommerce firm is branching out across the Atlantic as they open their second branch in San Francisco, rubbing shoulders with global titans of the online industry.

Freewebstore was set up by the current Managing Director of the company, Burnley-born Martin Hermansen, in 2007 and has experienced a boom in the decade since.

Freewebstore is opening a second office in San Francisco.

Freewebstore is opening a second office in San Francisco.

Pushing their mantra of “eCommerce for everyone”, the company now caters for an international customer base across 178 countries - from New Zealand to Costa Rica - and has 200 new sign-ups per day.

“We provide all the tools needed to run a successful online business, without the high costs involved that come with a bespoke web store,” said Marketing and Business Developer, Matthew Turner.

Already the home to company headquarters for the likes of Twitter, Uber, Dropbox, Reddit, Dolby, Airbnb, Pinterest, Mozilla, and Lyft, San Francisco is widely regarded as the US' premier technological hub and is a renowned hotbed of start-ups and big businesses alike.

Freewebstore, whose original offices are based in the redeveloped mill in Sandygate, will be attending the Internet Retailing Exhibition and Conference in Chicago in June to meet potential partners and customers, and with 40% of their business being American (40% is British while the other 20% is spread globally), the move to California makes sense.

“The American market was a natural progression to continue with our growth strategy,” Matthew added. “We recognised the huge market, potential, and the impact we can make in the US.

“[We want to] to come out of our shell a bit more and make even more of an impact on the eCommerce industry,” Matthew continued, with the company having opened their new office in San Francisco’s Financial District.

An entirely self-funded company which has reinvested all profits, explaining Freewebstore’s growth, Matthew said: “We started off targeting local business. With an accessible platform and the power of word of mouth, it took on a life of it’s own.

“We [want] to take on the big boys,” Matthew added. “And put Burnley on the map in the process.”