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 (Accounts)
Hans (CEO and President)
Hans (CEO and President)
The IdeaIn 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.
Arduous BeginningsIn 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 70sMore 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 ShopThis 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 DealsThe first Hot Deals are sent to our customers (about 10,000; mostly regional) in 1992. These first Hot Deals contained about 100 items and no pictures. Later on, the images were simply cut straight from the manufacturers' materials, and the printer personally picked up the texts, which were hand-written on scratch paper.
The Early Days of the InternetAfter 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 165.000 per day :-)
The RoadStar-TakeoverThe 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.
New store buildingAfter we made our neighbors an offer they couldn't refuse, they moved away and we finally had enough space to build our large PA and lighting hall as well as new rooms for the studio and drum departments. The planning and installation of the acoustics (with ambiophonics) alone took two years.
The first call centers in TreppendorfWe have never been into outsourcing – We like having everyone close at hand, and this is why we quickly took the decision that our future call centers would have to be like everything else in Treppendorf. We run two call centers with 40 work stations, one for Germany and one for our international customers. Some customers have even commented that they don't mind our dialect!
German InvasionIn 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 ProfessionalOn 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 18 members.
A New Logistics Centre"Logistics is where our furture's at" this is where the Gottschalks were right for once. Our old logistics operation was about to collapse, so we needed a new solution: our logistics center with 4,800 m² and a maximum capacity of 5,400 parcels per shift. It wasn't long before 100 staff were employed here.
"Bayern's Best 50" AwardIn 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 2005Actually, we were tired of all the renovating and building work.. but still, it soon became apparent that we would need further office and storage space in the coming years, and that's why we decided to build at once everything we would need in the foreseeable future: a container warehouse with more than 10,000 pallet storage slots (floor space 7,700 m²), a four-floor office building and new exhibition rooms for our guitar, brass and string departments.
At last more office spaceOur 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 WarehouseAvailability 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 CyberstoreThe 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 YearAs 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 SummitHaving 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 CentreAfter three years' worth of planning and construction, the worlds largest service center for musical instruments and equipment opened in Treppendorf. State-of-the-art workshops and testing facilities, a large spare parts warehouse and our own amphitheatre for trainings and workshops have found a home here. Your advantage: from now on, even more repair and maintenance jobs can be done by us right here in our office quickly and to the highest standards.
Large-scale shop renovationThe construction crews have moved in with us in Treppendorf once again and refurbished the store in Treppendorf. We have redesigned three departments: drums, keyboards and classic drums. The drum department has undergone a complete redesign, with new exhibition and test rooms for snares, cymbals and Roland e-drums. After having been refitted, the keybaord department now invites musicians to test play the instruments in sound-proofed rooms
Tastebuds are tickled in the t.kitchenIn February, we opened our own cafeteria in Treppendorf: t.kitchen is now open for hungry customers, visitors and staff. The twelve-strong t.kitchen team provides guests with freshly prepared dishes and offers hot meals throughout the day. The building's design appeals visually and it invites musicians and music lovers to get together in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
brand eins: The Man Who Defeated AmazonThe "brand eins" business journal devoted the title story of its April issue to Thomann. This company portrait was commissiond on the occasion of the release of "Sucess Factors in E-Commerce", a study of e-commerce which named us the best online store based on customer surveys. We achieved top rating in several individual categories, such as website design, service, and delivery, and thus managed to overtake giants such as amazon. The thing that makes us happiest about all this: we have the best and the most loyal customers.
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.