With a long-standing solid wood furniture tradition
The origins of Hartmann Möbelwerke
The company was established in 1911. Bernhard Hartmann built a carpentry workshop in the exact location where our management building stands today. In the early years, the company typically dealt with various carpentry and cabinet making projects throughout the local region. It was as early as the 1930s when the company started specialising in furniture production. The company produced small series of bedroom and lounge furniture and supplied furniture retailers. During this time, the company's radius had already stretched as far as Germany's Ruhr region.
Independent traders on motorcycles sold products throughout the Münster region and the northern Ruhr region. The company employed around fifteen employees when the second world war broke out. During the war, production was almost brought to a complete standstill when all apprentices were forced to join the Wehrmacht. However, after the end of the war and the introduction of the D-Mark the demand for furniture quickly rocketed.
Optimism creates growth in furniture production
Restructuring measures and expansions were launched with support from the founder's eldest son, Bernhard Theodor Hartmann, born in 1926. Driven by the dynamics of the young management and riding the wave of optimism in Germany in the early 1950s, the company increasingly focussed on producing and thinking on an industrial scale.
In the 1960s, the company launched its nationwide advertising campaigns. From 1967, the furniture trade fair in Cologne becomes the company's most important trade fair for making sales. In the meantime, subsidiaries had been established nationwide. This period from 1965 to 1980 saw vast investment with the development of two new facilities, nowadays covering an area of approximately 22,000 square metres. By the end of the 1970s, up to 250 employees worked at the Beelen plant.
Low-cost imports are a threat to the market
The second half of the 1980s was dominated by an economic decline for the company. The rustic, traditionally German, high-quality furniture market segment on which the company had specialised in the 1970s was now in decline and also under increasing threat from eastern European, low-cost imports. Falling turnover as well as cuts in hours and employees dominated the 1980s. It was during this time that Bernhard Heinrich Hartmann, the current owner, came into the company and management team.
Hartmann successfully establishes a reputation for solid organic furniture
Thanks to an innovative sales team, the company was able to regain a new position within the market at the beginning of the 1990s. This period saw the development of the solid organic furniture market segment and Hartmann was able to successfully establish an excellent position in this niche.
In 1995, the company launched a subsidiary in Poland to supply the main plant with laminated timber panels. Nowadays, the facility produces around 60% of the required laminated timber and prefabricated components.