Schulz & Sohn GmbH – a family-runned company with an eventful history spanning over 125 years. The people of the each era have characterized the company just as much as the historical events. Our maxim today: We will go on.
The Schulz & Sohn GmbH of today was founded on 1st July 1890 by Vitalis Schulz as a colonial and commodities shop. Back then, Düsseldorf-Oberbilk was a booming industrial area. The motto of this time was: “Skill, vision, diligence, quality, performance and social conduct”.
Heralding the start of the new century
During the years before and after 1910, the colonial and commodities shop developed into a department store, kind of like a chemist’s shop, with wholesale connections to the developing neighbouring industry. These activities focussed mainly on the production and trading of chemicals, paints, varnishes and solvents to bulk consumers. A fleet of horse-drawn carriages and a warehouse were established in a neighbouring building.
The next generation gets ready
After the First World War, Vitalis Schulz Jr. was promoted from company employee to the management team and was granted power of attorney on 10th September 1921. In 1923, the business was in a precarious position due to inflation. The business was plundered by the Spartacist League.
The call of science
On 16th Febuary 1924, Vitalis Schulz handed over the company to his son Vitalis, who actually wanted to become a physician. But in this difficult time, he took the responsibility for the company and leads it through the era after the monetary reform. Having accomplished this task, he began to study medicine. On 20th December 1927 his older brother, Attorney at Law Dr. Dr. Paul Schulz, took over the company.
Conversion to a specialist chemist
The range is modernised and a photography department is established. During the Second World War, Dr. Dr. Paul Schulz is conscripted as a pilot officer. The company is continued under the great endeavours of Martha Schulz and their youngest son Klaus Dieter after finishing his apprenticeship as a chemist. After Dr. Dr.. Paul Schulz returns from war captivity, the company is then transformed into a specialist chemists.
From the war years to the era of the economic miracle
Dr. Schulz & Sohn oHG is founded on 1st May 1954. The wholesale trade for the chemist product range has expanded. Traders, industry, businesses, municipal authorities and hospitals count as customers. The company is modernized and storage and sales rooms have been extended. The specialist chemists has been extended by a department for infant care products.
The next generation takes over
On 18th January 1966, Klaus Dieter Schulz takes over the Vitalis chemist shop. The trade with laboratory and heavy chemicals has extended. The family-run specialist chemists becomes increasing competitive pressure from drug stores and supermarkets.
Product developments bring new customers
Klaus Dieter Schulz starts developing special cleaners and opens up new markets at home and abroad. Through the developments taken from practice for use in practice, large companies are successfully acquired. With sound expert knowledge and short development times for new products, the company holds its own against stiff opposition. In 1966 at the INTERBAD Trade Fair SEPTOFIX is introduced, at the time an innovative combined cleaning and disinfecting agent for swim bath facilities and hospitals.
New business form ends the chemist business
Vitalis Chemists merges with Schulz & Sohn oHG on 18th August 1975. The newly-defined business content lies in the production and sale of chemicals, chemical products, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products to the wholesale and retail trade.
The chemical wholesale and retail trade is further expanded
A range of cleaning and care products for the do-it-yourself sector is developed, produced and sold. During this period oxygen-based coffee machine cleaners, aqueous care products for the swimming pool sector and special cleaners for sport boats are developed.
On 30th August 1984, the general partnership is converted into a limited partnership. Klaus Vitalis, son of Klaus Dieter Schulz, as a student of chemistry, becomes a limited partner of the company. The external warehouse is relocated to Düsseldorf. The sales and administration departments are joined by young employees. Instead of using company vehicles to deliver the products, the use of transport companies is increased.
In-house production is expanded
On 1st March 1993, the current Schulz & Sohn GmbH takes over the business of the former private limited partnership. Managing partners are Klaus Dieter Schulz and Dr. Klaus Vitalis Schulz. As retail, wholesale and in-house production are retained, the importance within this sector shifts: The focus of activities move from retail trading to manufacturing of proprietary products.
The next generation prepares for the inevitable relocation
1998 is Dr. Klaus Vitalis Schulz is sole managing director. The company continues to grow with major customers from the engineering and food sector. The Oberbilk site offers no potential for an expansion. In addition, the area surrounding the company has now become a residual area. As a result, preparations are made for a relocation at the same time to the on-going business activity.
New location creates new potentials
By the end of 2001, at last: With an enormous effort, the company is relocated within one week from Ellerstrasse in Düsseldorf-Oberbilk to its new site on Höherweg in Düsseldorf-Lierenfeld.
Industrial production and small-scale bottling are expanded
At the new site, the industrial production of special cleaning agents is extended. The growth in service products for the catering trade requires the small-scale bottling operation and tablet production to be expanded. Schulz & Sohn meet this requirement by building a modern production hall, which is occupied in 2013.
125 years of eventful history of the family-run company is appropriately celebrated in 2015. In addition to the family’s own celebration and an open house day on 26th June, the highlight of the anniversary event is a big festivity with the employees and their families, customers, suppliers and business partners on 27th June 2015. Matching the newly developed company claim of “Effective solutions”, the company tunes in with the anniversary motto: “We will go on.”