Shopping Centers Today International

APR 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Though wholly owned since 2008 by the Otto Group — the Hamburg retail giant that owns Crate & Barrel in the U.S. — Waltrop-based Manu- factum has stayed true to its motto: Es gibt sie noch, die guten Dinge ("They still exist, the good things"). And whether those good things happen to be overcoats, watches or garden tools, this upmarket store has adhered to its promise of quality with an emphasis on simple, organic products. A U e r k r A U T p i C k l e d from heirloom cabbage leaves in Baden-Württemberg; cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest; frying pans forged at a family-owned factory in Westphalia — anyone seeking a new version of any beloved, old-timey curio in Germany will probably find it at Manufactum. Started as a small catalog business in 1988 by publisher-politician Thomas Hoof, Manufactum is today a multichannel retailer with 10 stores and some 500 employees. Tapping into a subculture that shared his obses- sions with high-quality products and environmentalism (he was a leader of the North rhine–West- phalia Green party), Hoof fell into a lucrative niche. The company's 8,500 products are "marketed as something special, some- thing quality, something you buy and you feel good afterward, because you've invested in something sustainable that you can hold onto your entire life," said Sebastian Müller, head of retail consulting in the geomarketing division of market-research firm Gfk (which has no business relationship with the retailer). From the beginning, Manu- factum gained a reputation for unusual attention to quality and detail, not just in its product design but in its market- ing — back when Hoof still ran the com- pany, its catalog won a literary award for services rendered to the German language. perhaps somewhat ironically for a company that made its name writ- ing paeans to old pans and straightedge razors, Manufactum has always been at S Selling nostalgia Germany's manufactum peddles the Great thinGs of yesteryear By Bennett Voyles r e t a i l i n g t o d a y 28 S C t / a p r i l 2 0 1 6 P h o t o : M a n u f a c t u M ( w w w . M a n u f a c t u M . c o . u k ) .

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