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Gollnest & Kiesel: „We colour the world“
Gollnest & Kiesel: „We colour the world“
„We colour the world “means much more to Gollnest & Kiesel than just developing and producing colourful, attractive toys and putting them in the hands of children.
The toy company situated in northern Germany has set itself a goal.
Gollnest & Kiesel would like to make things better.
To see the world of children holistically. To create diversity in the product world, to support the stationary retail traders, to plant new forests and to build new schools. “We would like to create opportunities” says Gerhard Gollnest, co-founder and one of the managing directors of the company.
In a nation-wide survey carried out by the market information service „markt-intern“ in which over 4.000 toy retailers were questioned about the performance and efficiency of the toy industry, Gollnest & Kiesel was voted as Nr. 1 toy producer in 2015.
A good mix with good results
The turnover for 2015 exceeded the expectations. Gollnest & Kiesel increased sales by around 8% and has therewith once again delivered above market performance. The company remains one of Europe’s most innovative wooden toy manufacturers and the largest toy company in northern Germany.
The success can be largely attributed to the brands goki, HEIMESS and goki nature. The life-affirming wooden toy figures from HEIMESS increased by almost 20%. The two new series introduced last year – Susibelle and goki nature – have been extremely well received by consumers.
Gollnest & Kiesel generates around 52% of its sales in Germany and exports its toys to 72 countries throughout the world. Of these, France (with its own subsidiary), UK, Spain, Austria and the Scandinavian countries boast with particularly strong sales figures. Business with South American countries is currently showing a very promising development.
Gollnest & Kiesel’s world of brands
Four brands have united under the umbrella of Gollnest & Kiesel. The most traditional of them is 135 years old, of which the last six have been with Gollnest & Kiesel.
Anker-Stones were invented by the Lilienthal brothers in 1876. They baked small stones from chalk, quartz sand, linseed oil and colour pigments so that children could try their hand at being architects. The houses, churches or castles that are built stand strong due to gravity and their own weight. No gluing is necessary. The Anker stone building sets are regarded as being the first system toys in the world. Billions of stones are in circulation. These stones are manufactured in Rudolstadt – a city in the German state Thuringia.
Heimess is the well-known brand for baby toys made from fine wood and has a tradition of more than 60 years. Pacifier chains and grasp ring toys are produced in the state of Baden –Württemberg in a town called Vaihingen.
Holztiger is 15 years old. More than 400 toy figures ranging from cows, pigs, dogs, dragons, monkeys, dinosaurs, fish and a wide assortment of human figures are made in Europe from solid maple and beech wood. The figures allow children to dive into eight different worlds (wilderness, farm, woods, etc.).
goki is the house brand of the company. This toy brand has gained a good reputation worldwide.
Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel started to produce toys 35 years ago. To this day, the two founders and managing directors are devoted to each and every individual product of the company. Gerhard Gollnest devises ideas for new toys and discusses them with the product development department and the designers. Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel implements the designs into finished products and supervises the companies own production facilities around the globe.
The two men have been business partners for more than 30 years. They studied and learnt together in the same company to become wholesale and export/import traders. Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel says: “After studying, we had the idea to set up something of our own.” And that’s how it all began. Gollnest & Kiesel started up as a small company in an archway in the Wilhelmsburg district in Hamburg. Since then, the business has grown quite substantially and about 20 years ago the company moved to Güster, a small town 50km’s east of Hamburg, where it continues to expand.
Today the two entrepreneurs, who both come from families specializing in trading for many generations, employ over 600 people in the various production sites throughout the world and at the headquarters in Güster, Germany – the think tank of the company.
„We produce toys for children’s hands, their minds and their souls“, says Gerhard Gollnest. The more than 600 employees all over the world are working together to make the world a little bit more colourful.
Additionally, the company also devotes very special attention to the promotion of forests. “Those who take from nature must also return something to nature”, comments Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel. Every year Gollnest & Kiesel donates a new forest to the state Schleswig-Holstein. This is one of the most sparsely wooded states in Germany. For every child born in the northernmost state of Germany in one year, the company donates one tree. In this way, more than 300.000 beech, maple and oakwood trees have been planted over the past 10 years. The next forest is due to be planted on 17th March 2016 in Satrup, a village in the far northern end of Schleswig-Holstein. Gollnest & Kiesel will be giving back 50.000 trees to Mother Nature.
Partner des Fachhandels
In the toy industry, a few large manufacturers stand in opposition to a numerous number of small or middle-sized producers, especially in Germany - the core country for toys. Even the retail market is rather fragmented in comparison to many other markets. However, over the past years, one has observed a process of concentration in the toy market.
This concentration has occurred at the expense of the diversity of toys which, up until now, was the pride of the toy industry.
Gollnest & Kiesel will continue to contribute towards this diversity. Their wide variety of products will continue to take the individual development of each child into account and will strive to support the retail trade.
Readers of the market information service „markt-intern” have repeatedly honoured the strategic direction of the company with top grades.
Pictures in original size
Here you can get the pictures in printable resolution (300 dpi, RGB) by clicking on the links. (Windows Computer: right mouse button, “Save as….”). We would be grateful, if when you use this function you could inform us about the publication. (picture credits: HEIMESS)
Gollnest & Kiesel KG
Telephone 04158/ 8822-0
Last update: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:24 AM