The Douglas Group
It all began with J. S. Douglas seeking his fortune. Nearly 200 years ago the
Scot emigrated to Germany with his dream in tow: making life more beautiful for
everyone. Little did he know that, one day, his name would be synonymous with
this idea: "Douglas makes life more beautiful." J. S. Douglas established a
perfumery and soap factory in Hamburg in 1821 – writing the first chapter in one
of the most fascinating success stories in European retail.
Timeless yet innovative.
As early as the 19th century, Douglas was pioneering fine soap and perfumery
products and his innovations earned him several international awards. The very
first "Parfümerie Douglas" opened in 1910 on Jungfernstieg, Hamburg's finest
shopping boulevard. In 1969, after decades of turbulence, Hussel AG (which was
renamed DOUGLAS HOLDING AG in 1989) took over the management of the Douglas
perfumeries in Hamburg, which now comprised six small stores, marking the first
move toward diversification. At that time Hussel AG also owned the confectionery
company Hussel Süßwarenfilialbetrieb GmbH which had been founded in 1949.
The perfumery business prospered. In 1974, Douglas entered the international
arena when it took over the Ruttner perfumery in Vienna. The establishment of
numerous other foreign subsidiaries fueled rapid growth in the years that
The acquisition of the watch dealers Uhren Weiss in 1979 laid the foundations
for the Group's jewelry operations – a segment strategically expanded by the
investment in Christ in the 1990s. The Books division (Montanus) launched in
1979 grew initially through its takeover of the German bookseller Phönix. The
merger with Thalia in 2001 was followed by the acquisition of majority holdings
in Jäggi, Stauffacher and ZAP in Switzerland, Amadeus in Austria, and
Bouvier/Gonski, Kober-Löffler, Gondrom and Buch & Kunst in Germany, making Books
the DOUGLAS Group's second highest-selling division. The Group also owns the
fashion stores Appelrath-Cüpper (since 1986) and the Hussel confectionery shops.
Today the DOUGLAS Group is a top European lifestyle retailer with plans to
further cement its market leadership.
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