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Company history

More than 180 years

Berendsohn AG is a traditional family-run company from Hamburg Over the last 180 years, we have built our business reliably and responsibly. With our promotional products, we make sure that people remember more than 100,000 customers around the world.

The same ideas still guide us today and made our company the leading direct distributor of promotional items and gifts in Europe. Regional events and entrepreneurs have shaped the development of our company.

The eventful early years

In 1833, Bernhard Salomon Berendsohn founded Berendsohn AG as a publishing house in Hamburg. At first, the business focused on the sale of "Hamburgensia", quality copperplate prints depicting the Hamburg cityscape and surrounding rural region. Those were our first promotional gifts, popular with Hamburg merchants, who sent or gave them to their overseas business partners.

More than 100 years later, in the aftermath of World War II, Günther Berendsohn, a young entrepreneur, rides his bike through the destroyed city of Hamburg. Always on hand: His sample case with a selection of advertising materials. In those years, Günther Berendsohn rebuilt his family's business. Thanks to their finely honed sense of their customers' needs and their commitment to being close to the customer, his field sales force manages to spread out across Germany in just ten years.

The European market

In the 1960s, Berendsohn is entering the European market. Over the next decades, the company employs about 800 people in their sales force and back-office. They take care of more than 100,000 customers in 12 European countries. Next to the national subsidiaries of Berendsohn, the INTERWEGA international Gesellschaft für Debitorenmanagement m.b.H. joined the group in 1986. 

Development and modernisation

In the current decade, the group is focusing on modernisation and growth. The production facility in Brüsewitz (Mecklenburg), opened in 1993, was expanded into the European Centre for Production Service and Logistics in 2013. The facility now has more than 150 employees in production, logistics, customer service and graphics. In 2014, Lynka Sp. z o.o. in Cracow, a Polish specialist for promotional products and corporate textiles, became a subsidiary of Berendsohn AG. With their added competence, corporate fashion is now the third pillar of our company.

Die Berendsohn-Chronolgie

1833Foundation of the publishing house B.S. Berendsohn 
1860The boom years of publishing 
The publishing house made its mark with quality copperplate prints of the Hamburg cityscape, so-called "Hamburgensia", which customers gave to business partners around the world.
1948Günther Berendsohn  re-establishes the company.
1958The field sales force in Germany is now 50 consultants strong. Unique and very popular customer service: Personal, individual consulting services on-site, with sample products and wide-ranging industry know-how. Annual sales top five million Deutschmarks.
1964Berendsohn enters markets abroad. The field sales force begins working in Scandinavia, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Annual sales increase to ten million Deutschmarks.
1973Annual sales of 80 million Deutschmarks, the sales force has grown to more than 300 consultants.
1986Foundation of the subsidiary Interwega International Gesellschaft für Debitorenmanagement mbH
1987The company moves to its current headquarters in Hamburg's west. Overall sales increase to 100 million Deutschmarks, half of the turnover is generated in the European markets.
1993A new service and production facility is opened in Brüsewitz near Schwerin.
2007Berendsohn expands their business activities to include corporate textiles.
2012Jörn Lambertz is the new Board Chairman and the first shareholder outside of the Berendsohn family. The company initiates a number of modernisation and reform measures.
2013In order to consolidate all services under one roof and optimize customer service, the Brüsewitz location is expanded as a central production facility. Apart from production, graphics, logistics and customer service are also working at the facility.
2014Berendsohn adds corporate textiles competence with the acquisition of Lynka Sp. z o.o., the Polish specialist for promotional and corporate textiles.
2015The premium fashion line "GB Collection", named after Günther Berendsohn, brings corporate textiles to the portfolio of Berendsohn AG.