The Thomann Company History
On this page we'll show you a collection of interesting milestones in Thomann's history. As we've grown so fast in more recent years, we will spare you the meticulous details on the various renovations, extensions and new buildings :-)
The Thomann siblings
Doris (accounting), Stefan (EDP), Gabi (self-employed), Hans (managing director) and Elisabeth (accounting)
In 1954, Hans Thomann Sr decided to quit his job as a travelling musician. Among other engagements he had worked for a circus company, as you can see on the picture. He also had to take care of the family farm and drove to Würzburg (70 km) almost daily in order to study the trumpet.
In the 1960s, Treppendorf was just a handful of houses - among them was the Thomann farm, and a real farm it was! with livestock farming and agriculture. However, music was Hans Thomann Sr's hobby, and he spent more and more time travelling with brass combos and selling equipment to other musicians. His wife Betty, meanwhile, took care of the farm and gave birth to their children :-)
The Wild 70s
More and more rooms in the house were turned into showrooms. Those were the glorious days of organs, guitars and the first synthesisers. Hans Thomann, still a young boy, made his first deals.
Living in a Shop
This is how the shop still looked in the late 1980s... all nice and orderly! The barn was the stage lighting department and warehouse at the same time; the former kids room was turned into the accounting office. The house on the left is the Thomann family home, and to this day both buildings still exist unchanged.
The Birth of Our Hot Deals
In 1992 the first Hot Deals brochures were sent out to our customers (about 10,000, mostly from the surrounding area). The first Hot Deals contained about 100 products and no pictures. Later, pictures were simply cut out of manufacturers' brochures and the accompanying texts for each item were handed to the printer as handwritten notes.
The Early Days of the Internet
After somewhat unthrilling experiences with the BTX-Technology of the German Post, we were the first music store in Germany to put up its own website. In the beginning, emails were printed out and delivered to the individual departments who replied by reguar snail mail. Today, that really wouldn't be too practical anymore, given a number of 130.000 per day :-)
The RoadStar company in Eisingen used to be Germany's largest mail order retailer of musical instruments. When Thomann accquired RoadStar, the customer base more than doubled to almost 100,000 customers.
A New Shop
Accepting an offer they just couldn't refuse, our neighbours eventually moved and made room for a new PA/Lights hall and new showrooms for the studio and drum departments. The planning and realisation of the acoustically optimised PA showroom (including ambiphonics) took two years.
The First Call Centres in Treppendorf
Outsourcing has never been our way of thinking - we like to keep our team together. That's why we decided that our call centres - like all other departments - would have to be in Treppendorf. We operate two call centres with 40 workplaces, one for Germany and one for foreign countries. A few customers actually said they don't mind our dialect :-)
In the year 2000 we printed our first English language Hot Deals catalogue with prices in British Pounds. UK Dealers were "not amused" and tried everything to stop us. A magazine which contained our Hot Deals almost folded, because most of the UK dealers cancelled their advertising.
Thomann Audio Professional
On the strength of a growing number of installation projects, we decided to found a separate department for sound installations and projects. Our Audio Professional department takes care of installations in theatres, town halls, museums, discos etc. Meanwhile the Audio Professional team has grown to 15 members.
A New Logistics Centre
"Logistics is the Future" - that's what the Gottschalk brothers kept repeating in their famous DHL campaign on German TV. Who would have thought they were right? We did. Our old mail order warehouse was about to collapse. So we built a new logistics centre of 4800 square metres and a maximum capacity of 5400 parcels per shift. A short time later, we already had 100 employees working there.
"Bayern's Best 50" Award
In 2004, Thomann, as the first company in the music industry, received the "Bayern's Best 50" Award for being one of the most successful companies in Bavaria. The picture shows Hans Thomann (in the middle), Minister of Trade Otto Wieshue (on the right), and Bernd Rödl (who was responsible for the nomination).
Still, it was a sad year: in May 2004 our founder Hans Thomann Sr. passed away.
Construction Site 2005
We'd had enough of new buildings and extensions to old ones, actually. But we knew we would soon need more space for storage and offices. So we decided to build everything we would eventually need at once: a container warehouse holding more than 10,000 pallets (7700 square metres), a four storey office building, and new showrooms for our guitar, brass, and stringed instrument departments.
At last more office space
Our Administration Building, situated directly next to the shop, has housed our 40 purchase managers, quality control department, marketing team and our boss since 2005. We also have a entire floor of seminar rooms which we use for internal and external workshops for both our employees and customers.
New Supply Warehouse
Availability is everything! After we became five times bigger than our biggest supplier, we decided that we had to build even more warehouse space to optimise our product availability. Our supply warehouse offers room for 10 000 pallets and 40 000 containers for small parts. In 2005 our supply warehouse was bigger than all our other warehouses put together. Three months later this warehouse was already full!
New Thomann Cyberstore
The time has come for us to completely reorganise our internet infrastructure. Besides re-vamping and modernising our website we have built two new computer centres containing 160 Thomann servers which will enable us to meet all the demands of our 2 million European customers.
Dispatcher of the Year
As a small, independent, family-run business we were thrilled to receive the prestigious title Dispatcher of the Year 2010. This coveted award is Germanys highest accolade in the E-commerce industry and has been won in the past by some of Germanys best known companies such as Tchibo, Conrad und Globetrotter.
Winner of the Global E-Commerce Summit
Having been awarded the title of German Dispatcher of the Year 2010, we were automatically entered as the German representative into the European competition at the E-Commerce Summit in Barcelona. We were delighted to go on to win this prize as well and were crowned Europes Best Online Shop 2011.
New Service Centre
In 2013 we opened the worlds largest service centre for musical instruments and equipment. The building has over 5000 m² of space, offering the most modern workshops, laboratories, an extensive small-parts warehouse as well as our own amphitheatre which we use for schoolings and workshops. We are now able to offer even more repairs, even faster turnaround times and all done here at our Thomann premises by highly qualified specialists.
The times, they are-a-changing!
Hans Thoman, Senior's business card - still no zip-code, but a telegraph address.
Meanwhile, almost all Thomann employees have also business cards in Chinese.