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The Douglas Group









It all began with John Sharp 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.
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 followed.

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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Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022