The House of the Carcasses

It is ranked 97th in the latest Financial Times list of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe. According to this ranking, Carcamovil Sociedad Limitada is Unipersonal and corporate name of the brand The House of the Carcasseswould have experienced an absolute growth rate of 1,353.6% and would employ 682 people in 2018.

Based in the town of Jaraiz de la Vera in Cáceres, the company went from 30 million euros in 2018 to 42 million in 2019, an increase of 30%. To date, the data speaks of 177 physical stores owned by him, distributed across the main Spanish cities. According to a press release, “in 2020 alone, the company hired a total of 714 new employees in Spain, of which 170 correspond to jobs created by the opening of new branded stores in the country.”

Likewise, La Casa de las Carcasses began its international expansion in neighboring Portugal, where it already has 13 open facilities, and is now preparing to enter the Italian market, where it has already opened its first three stores in the cities of Milan and Cremona . To this will be added in the next few days two other openings, one in Padua and the other in Venice, in addition to activating e-commerce in the country in the same way as is already the case in Spain and Portugal.

Ismael Villalobos, founder of The House of Carcasses

The House of Carcasses was created as a personal project by Ismael Villalobos in 2013, when this entrepreneur was barely 24 years old. Villalobos says one of his virtues is taking things calmly, and when he sees middle managers worrying about a company misstep, he needs to remind them that the sun rises every day. He attributes this calm to several things. The first is his young age. He just turned 31 and has no ties, “no mortgages, no wife, no kids.” The second is that the worst case scenario is that it can start all over again and start a business with €3,000 in capital, just as La Casa de las Carcass started in 2013.

Before completing his studies, he dropped out because he received information from fellow students who had finished before, “and they asked for 400 or 500 euros and that because I didn’t think he had a great future.” So he was encouraged to build something of his own. One thing was clear from the start, and that was that he wanted to sell something that the whole world would consume in a growing market, qualities he found in mobile. “I built a pretty basic website as best I could and set up an e-commerce business to sell phone cases and accessories with the money I had saved as a lifeguard and gym teacher.” Starting selling on Amazon when very few were doing it and the Bezos company was immersed in a brutal advertising campaign.

This helped Villalobos ensure the product fit the market and gradually shape the business. In 2014 he made the leap into the offline world and opened his first kiosk in the Xanadú shopping center in Madrid. It was here that he realized that his ambition to reach a mass audience was a better fit for the physical setting. “In those years, the customer who bought on the Internet was more specialized, more demanding with the products,” he explains, so he finally decided to go the traditional way and expanded his kiosks to all the malls. When it had enough economic lungs, it went from kiosk format to its own store and so on until today, with the 177 stores already being occupied.

Between 2018 and 2019 it achieved an opening rate of 3 stores per month, all of them own branches. He prefers to do this rather than exploit the franchise system in order not to “falsify the brand identity and continue to build loyalty thanks to quality products at reasonable prices”. The average ticket costs around €20 and sells all kinds of mobile device accessories. The current catalog includes more than 50,000 models of cases for all models of the most popular brands of mobile phones, and also offers all kinds of accessories for tablets, smartwatches, wireless headphones, cameras, mobile photography and cases, among others.

Two and a half years ago, they resumed online sales via the major platforms and are now using both channels again. Ismael Villalobos did all of this on account, without any financing rounds or support from business angels. And so it intends to continue, growing at the same time as sales and following the established roadmap until it reaches 330 stores in 2024.

Despite running this “mini empire”, Ismael Villalobos assures that he sleeps well and that “I was almost more stressed when I only had four shops and had to do everything than now, that the business is very well articulated and measured and that I have a great team”. And the ability to delegate is another virtue that this entrepreneur shares, and when someone asks him if he would like to have a child one day, he replies: “No, I already have La Casa de las Carcasses.” .