|Seat||Potsdam , Germany|
The Vobis GmbH (formerly Vobis AG ) is a German franchisor in the field of PC -Vertriebs to consumers. In the 1990s, when the company belonged to the Metro group , Vobis, as a trading company, had at times one of the highest hardware sales figures in Germany.
PCs, monitors and various accessories used to be sold under the private label Highscreen . Some of the self-produced products were designed by Luigi Colani and presented at CeBIT in 1993. From 1993 to 1997 Vobis also published the computer magazine Highscreen Highlights . Well known was the consumer prospectus called memorandum .
Vobis was founded in 1975 as Vero GmbH by the students Theo Lieven and Rainer Fraling in Aachen . The two later success-related dropouts - Lieven completed his studies later at the Distance University in Hagen - began as part of the “Studienhilfe e. V. “with the procurement of otherwise expensive study materials such as slide rules and pocket calculators for fellow students .
In 1981 the company was renamed to Vobis Data Computer GmbH and expansion in Germany began. The Latin word "vobis" means "for you". At the time, this step was intended to show the customer that Vobis wanted to be the people's provider for microcomputers .
In 1989 Metro AG took part before the conversion into a stock corporation in 1991 . Vobis also expanded abroad and founded u. a. Branches in Austria, Poland, Belgium and France. In 1995, due to postponements of the 32-bit platform Windows 95 , Vobis relied on customers preinstalling the already released 32-bit operating system OS / 2 from IBM on PCs, which made OS / 2 more widely known in the German market than elsewhere. Microsoft is said to have tried to revoke Vobis' license for Windows 95, which would have meant a serious economic disadvantage for Vobis.
In 1997 Vobis presented the Highscreen Alpha 5000 , a computer for home users based on the RISC Alpha processor from DEC , which was actually developed for the professional market . In the same year Vobis was represented with 776 branches in eleven countries.
The Metro smashed the group in early 1999 by selling the nine foreign branches and outsourcing computer production to the Maxdata subsidiary . The Berlin entrepreneurs Jürgen Rakow, who until then had operated 33 branches as a franchisee under his operating company Vobis Micro Computer Franchise-Shop GmbH (VMCFS), and Jürgen Bochmann acquired 25 percent plus one share in the remaining branch company as well as the naming rights to the VMCFS Term Vobis Microcomputer AG . At the same time, you assumed corporate responsibility for society. In 2009, Vobis Microcomputer AG moved its headquarters from Thaleischweiler-Fröschen to Langenburg . In 2011 Jürgen Bochmann and Siegfried Raisin resigned as managing directors, followed by Claudia Wiedenig. With a contract dated July 31, 2014, the company was merged with IT-Holding GmbH , which was also relocated from Saarbrücken to Langenburg, and this in turn with Divaco Beteiligungs AG & Co KG, managed by Siegfried Kaske .
In 2003, the former parent company Metro signed an agreement with the company to sell Vobis products in Kaufhof department stores, which increased the number of Vobis sales outlets across Germany from 65 to 323. The Vobis headquarters moved from Würselen to Potsdam in the course of major restructuring in 2004.
The restructuring of the group continued at the end of 2005. From now on, most of the branches operated under the name Vobis digital expert . The new company name should convey to customers that Vobis is expanding its service to digital media. The focus of business activity has been shifted from the sale of complete PCs to the individual parts business and service. After losing a legal dispute against Expert AG , the company had to part with the “digital expert” name; the name "Vobis" remained.
At the beginning of 2008, the company reported a total of 48 franchisees, a halving compared to 2005. In the meantime, the company had transferred its franchise system division for the sale of products and services for IT and telecommunications to the holding company Sibov AG and relocated its headquarters from Thaleischweiler-Fröschen to Potsdam . The managing director Bernhard Scholtes, who had been Jürgen Rakow's successor since 2007, left after six months; Jürgen Bochmann and Siegfried Raisin took his place. Jürgen Rakow came back in 2010, but the latter two left in 2013. Sibov AG changed its name to a GmbH in 2014 and also relocated its headquarters to Langenburg, where it was included in Siegfried Kaske's network of interests.
On December 1, 2009, Vobis opened its newly designed online shop . The brand name Highscreen has been used by Russian smartphones since 2009 . In 2012 the online shop was given to a franchisee, Bora Computer GbR.
In July 2017 there were only 13 branches left. These are located in Berlin and East Germany.
The company caused a stir in January 2008 with third-party and own insolvency applications against the operator of the Vobis online shop for consumers, who went bankrupt on April 1, 2008. Despite the bankruptcy filings, Vobis let the shop, which is fully integrated into its own website, continue to operate under its domain for about a month . With reference to the franchise structure, Vobis refused to settle claims for consumers who carried out orders and made payments for the products they ordered during this period, with the exception of one individual case that was publicly shown on television . The new online shop, which Vobis had commissioned by its operator to promptly file for bankruptcy while maintaining the web shop, was operated a few days later at the same address and with an identical appearance by Vobis itself.
- Allner: Computer Classics ISBN 9783815823392
- heise.de: Vobis wants to win new franchisees with the help of qutim GmbH . February 28, 2008
- Craftphones from the East, report by the German computer magazine c't in issue 12, 2018, pages 176–177, here p. 177
- Another online restart: Vobis outsources online shop to franchisees , ChannelPartner , January 23, 2012
- Vobis, our branches , accessed on July 14, 2017
- ZDNet: Bankruptcy of the Vobis webshop: Nobody was
- heise.de: Insolvency proceedings against product + concept opened . April 7, 2008