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OUR STORY

1967

THE FIRST TEST STORE

Kurt Ernsting turns his new business idea of selling simple, practical and inexpensive clothes into a reality. The first “minipreis” test store still attracts customers to the laundry room in his parents’ textile shop in Coesfeld. The success of the test store is so great after just a short time that Kurt Ernsting founds minipreis Ernsting Handels-GmbH in 1968 and starts building a chain of stores.

1969

ALREADY 15 “MINIPREIS” STORES

60s fashion is offered in 15 “minipreis” stores as early as 1969.

1971

FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING AND WAREHOUSE IN COESFELD-LETTE

An administrative building and warehouse for the central dispatch department are built in Coesfeld-Lette. There are already 40 “minipreis” stores.

1972

“MINIPREIS” BECOMES “MINILADEN”

Kurt Ernsting leases his parent’s business to devote himself entirely to his own business. The company is renamed “miniladen”. A name that has already become popular.

1975

DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IN COESFELD-LETTE EXPANDED

The distribution centre in Coesfeld-Lette is expanded in 1975 and 2 years later the fashion-conscious family already has 130 outlets stocked with the latest fashions.

1985

NAME CHANGE TO “ERNSTING’S MINILADEN”

The company employs 463 people and its name is changed from “miniladen” to “Ernsting’s miniladen”. An expanded distribution centre is built in Coesfeld-Lette to supply 400 stores.

1990

“ERNSTING’S FAMILY” FOR THE FIRST TIME

The “Ernsting’s miniladen” company is renamed “Ernsting’s family”. Ernsting’s family goes to the new German federal states and opens its first stores there.

1993

NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IN KLIEKEN

A new distribution centre is built in Klieken near Dessau to supply the company’s East German stores.

1999

EXPANSION IN COESFELD AND NEW REGIONAL CENTRE IN SCHWARZENBEK

The distribution centre in Coesfeld-Lette is expanded to supply a total of 800 stores. A regional centre in Schwarzenbek is built as a lorry transhipment point.

2000

SERVICE CENTRE IS BUILT

The new Ernsting’s family service centre is built in Coesfeld-Lette. All threads come together in the central administrative building for Ernsting Holding and its subsidiaries. This is where everything is coordinated, calculated, planned and discussed.

2003

THE ONLINE SHOP OPENS ITS “DOORS”

Ernsting’s family – now also online! With the rapid spread of the internet, Ernsting’s family recognises the signs of the times early on and opens its online shop with fashion offers, service categories and smart online games in 2003.

2009

ALL-NEW DESIGN

In February 2009, Ernsting’s family  is given a new, colourful, fresh look. The stores stand out with their new design and logo: Ernsting's family – von fröhlichen Familien empfohlen (Ernsting’s family – recommended by happy families). The online shop also gets a new look and more functions.

2010

OPENING OF THE 1,500TH STORE

The 1,500th store is ceremoniously opened in the presence of the Ernsting family on 20 May at Post Galerie in Karlsruhe.

2012

NEW HIGH-BAY WAREHOUSE IN COESFELD-LETTE

The rapid expansion is reflected in the construction of a new high-bay warehouse in Coesfeld-Lette, which is put into operation in July 2012. The Wiesbaden glass artist Nabo Gaß was responsible for the design of the facades. Thanks to the use of photovoltaic systems on the roof of the building, the high-bay warehouse is completely self-supporting in terms of energy.

2017

25 YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP WITH HERZENSWÜNSCHE

Ernsting’s family and the Herzenswünsche e. V. charity celebrate the 25th anniversary of their partnership. On this occasion, CEO Prof. Dr. Timm Homann presents the club chairperson Wera Rötgering with a donation cheque for a record sum of € 250,000. Since 1992, the money donated each year has been used to make the wishes of severely ill children and young people come true, giving them renewed courage to face life.

2017

GERMAN RETAIL PRIZE

Ernsting’s family is awarded the German Retail Prize in the large company category. The official jury statement says the following: “With this award, the jury recognises the company's outstanding performance in terms of competitiveness, future viability, customer experience, innovation and sustainability. The Ernsting’s family recipe for success is primarily based on the company’s philosophy of meeting the needs of  their target group, which is families, and creating a positive shopping experience through numerous projects and promotions. The company wins over customers with a credibly lived corporate ethic in the areas of social and environmental sustainability, which is also embodied by the owner family.”

2018

50 YEARS OF ERNSTING’S FAMILY - KICK-OFF WITH CEREMONIAL UNVEILING OF QUOTES

On the 6th of May 1968, the founder Kurt Ernsting had his chain of stores entered in the commercial register. To this day, his spirit still lives on in the company. Exactly 50 years after the company was founded, the workforce gathers at the company head office in front of the main entrance to celebrate the official start of the anniversary year together with the Ernsting family, Mayor Heinz Öhmann and CEO Prof. Dr. Timm Homann. In the bright sunshine, a well-known quote by the founder is unveiled, which now adorns the entrance area and still applies to the company to this day: “We are there for our customers. Always.”

2018

50 YEARS OF ERNSTING’S FAMILY – A HUGE CELEBRATION IN COLOGNE

The 16th of September 2018 will remain a great memory for everyone that was there on that day. More than 9,000 Ernsting’s family employees travel by bus, train and plane from all over Germany and Austria to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and to celebrate the momentous occasion with a huge party organised by the company. A mixture of countless goosebump moments looking back at their shared past and towards the future as well as fantastic entertainment provided by national and international top acts makes the day an unforgettable experience.

2019

EXPANSION OF OUR DISTRIBUTION CENTRE

By expanding our distribution centre with a new building for internet logistics, including fully automated conveyor technology, we are able to set an important, future-oriented milestone in 2019.

2020

START OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown measures present us with one of the greatest challenges in the company’s history. In the following months and years, all employees rise to this challenge #asabigfamily and master it successfully. In the end,  the fact that we overcame the crisis in the way we did is largely due to the great commitment of our colleagues and the company culture at Ernsting’s family.

2022

CREATIVE CENTRE

In order to continue to meet our steadily growing capacity requirements in the Service Centre, a new Creative Centre is built on our campus. For this purpose, an existing logistics building  is renovated with a high-quality overall architectural concept in line with our sustainability strategy. Around 180 workplaces, meeting rooms as well as sample and project rooms for the Category Management, Design, Procurement, Quality Development and Procurement Logistics departments are created on a total floor space of around 5,000 m² (incl. basement). The fact that it is opposite the Service Centre gives us the opportunity to develop our park landscape into a Working Park. The new Working Park will cover approximately 5,000-6,000 m² and will integrate the existing part of the Service Centre’s outdoor facilities.

2023

NEW AUTOMATIC CARTON WAREHOUSE (AKL)

Another milestone for our Logistics department. After about two years of construction, our new automated carton warehouse on the company campus in Coesfeld-Lette was put into operation in summer 2023 with the first real cartons travelling over the conveyor belts. The reason for building the warehouse was our rapidly growing e-commerce business and the associated increase in the volume of goods. The warehouse is optimally designed to cope with the dynamic requirements of internet logistics and ensures an efficient carton “replenishment process” for picking e-commerce parcels. Architecturally, the warehouse fits into the existing campus and forms a harmonious overall concept with the neighbouring glass building.