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23/05/2016

News release - Issued by Käthe Wohlfahrt

German Christmas retailer ‘Käthe Wohlfahrt’ unveils plans for opening of first UK store in York

Käthe Wohlfahrt, a family run German Christmas Shop, and founders of the famous German Museum in Rothenburg, is confirmed as one of three new tenants to lease part of the old Mulberry Hall premises on Stonegate in York. The company designs, manufactures and sells high quality traditional and modern Christmas decorations and gifts all year round and the new store is set to open in July. It will be the first UK store for the business, which has outlets in a number of German and European cities, including Belgium, Italy and Switzerland as well as Japan, the USA and Canada.


The Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Shop will be moving into the 4000 square foot medieval timber framed building, built in 1434, which was occupied by Mulberry Hall for 60 years. The Käthe Wohlfahrt family have been in business for over half a century and the opening of the York store for is an important move for the company, with high demand for their products from UK customers online and in the Bruges store.


The decision to move to York was due to a number of factors including a strong working relationship with Adam Sinclair, owner of Mulberry Hall, which closed down in March. Harald Wohlfahrt, owner of Käthe Wohlfahrt said: “I first visited York as a tourist 40 years ago and instantly fell in love with the charm and character of the city. When I came back last year, I was not disappointed and decided to look for new premises for our new UK store. After contacting an Estate Agent, I was amazed to discover that the building that I had visited when shopping in Mulberry Hall the first time I came to York was available for lease. I loved the shop and the building then and it totally fits with our Käthe Wohlfahrt concept as all our stores are located in beautiful old buildings that are full of character. Not only that, York’s history, location and vibrant tourist industry make it perfect for us.


My son has recently completed his school and University education in England and so we have strong ties and have become familiar with the English culture. We are also very grateful that we have benefitted from a huge amount of support from Adam and the Sinclair family. After our first meeting, the Sinclair family visited us in Rothenburg. Our families are very alike, with similar values and Adam’s help has made us feel part of the City already. He has introduced us to a number of businesses who are helping us with the design and launch the new store and eleven former employees of Mulberry Hall will be joining our team when the store opens.”


Käthe Wohlfahrt has over 30,000 traditional and modern German Christmas decorations in its range. Employing 300 staff all year round worldwide, the business attracts millions of tourists to its retail outlets from all over the world. The company’s success springs from the cultivation and continuation of the traditional German Christmas; its family values, treating employees as part of its ‘extended family’ community; high quality original products; excellent customer service and unique presentation of its products.


Käthe Wohlfahrt opened the Christmas Museum in Rothenburg in 2000 which explains the origins and history of Christmas. The company has created a year round ‘Christmas Village’ in the centre of Rothenburg and both have become popular tourist attractions. The Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas workshop in Rothenburg has craftsmen and artists who work together to design and produce beautiful and original decorations using traditional methods and materials such as wood, metal and glass.


Alongside the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Shop in Mulberry Hall’s original premises will be Cocktail bar chain The Botanist and plans are currently in place for a new high quality Italian restaurant, ‘Gusto’.


With all three parts of the Mulberry Hall premises leases now confirmed, Adam Sinclair, owner of Mulberry Hall reflected on the developments of the past few months: “I am delighted to welcome the Wohlfahrt family to York and to our former premises on Stonegate. It is wonderful to see the longstanding family ethos continued with the introduction of such a respected world-wide brand such as Käthe Wohlfahrt to the city and I am delighted that many of Mulberry Hall’s former employees will be working for them. The aspirations of Käthe Wohlfahrt are very similar – to create not just a shop but a destination for enjoyment, inspiration and pleasure, presenting for sale an extensive, high quality, exclusive and unique range of Christmas and modern decorations.”


Steve Brown, Managing Director of Make It York said: “We are thrilled that Käthe Wohlfahrt has chosen York as the location for its UK store. The new Christmas Shop fits perfectly into the current retail offer of York and it is fantastic to have such a quality brand moving in. I look to forward to working with the Wohlfahrt family and to seeing the business flourish here.”

ENDS


Further information:

Käthe Wohlfahrt is a family owned business retailing Christmas decorations with a head office is in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria.


Founded in 1964 in Herrenberg near Stuttgart by the husband and wife couple, Wilhelm and Käthe Wohlfahrt, it was then taken over by their son, Harald.


The firm moved from Herrenberg to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in 1977. In their main shop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber there is a Christmas Museum and a Christmas exhibition. Amongst its extensive range of products are candles, Christmas tree decorations, nativity scenes and nutcrackers. The shop is open all year long and boasts the world's largest selection of traditional German Christmas ornaments.

For further information about Käthe Wohlfahrt visit www.wohlfahrt.com