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Development

In 1952, Friedrich Hoppe founded a company for the production of door hardware in Heiligenhaus near Düsseldorf, the former heartland of Germany’s lock and hardware industry. Two years later, Friedrich Hoppe moved the company to Stadtallendorf near Marburg (Hesse), thereby setting the course for further expansion. Learn more about HOPPE on this website or in our Company Profile you can download here.

The beginnings of the company
The beginnings of the company 1952-1962
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In September 1949, following his release as a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union, Friedrich Hoppe made his way to Heiligenhaus (near Düsseldorf), the former heartland of Germany’s lock and hardware industry and the place where his family had settled after being expelled from their native Silesia.

  • 1952

    He set up a company for the production of door hardware on 5th November 1952 in Heiligenhaus after working for three years in the hardware industry, realising that there would be a need, and indeed an economically significant one, for building-trade accessories, as reconstruction began after the Second World War. From the outset, his wife Agnes and his brother, Herbert, were at his side as his first employees.
  • 1954

    In 1954 he moved his company to Stadtallendorf near Marburg, some distance from the competition, thereby setting the course for further expansion.
  • 1956

    In 1956, Friedrich Hoppe set up the first subsidiary in Bromskirchen near Frankenberg, 30 miles from Stadtallendorf. Even at this early stage, concentration was on large-scale manufacture of window and door hardware, which was to become a basis of the company.
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  • Company founder Friedrich Hoppe Company founder Friedrich Hoppe
  • Office and residential buildings in Allendorf Office and residential buildings in Allendorf
  • Employees in Bromskirchen Employees in Bromskirchen
Internationalisation
Internationalisation 1963-1989
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  • 1964

    It was in 1963 that the founder, with his far-sighted location policy, ventured outside Germany and set up the Schluderns plant in German-speaking South Tyrol in 1964. The idea of going to a place where industry was needed, and therefore welcome, and where there were enough workers, instead of bringing them to Germany, was a determining factor in this location philosophy.
  • 1971

    In 1971 a production site and sales office was set up in Müstair, Switzerland, which since 1983 has served solely as an international sales office for the Handle of excellence.
  • 1972

    A further plant was set up in St. Martin in South Tyrol in 1972, which initially produced aluminium hardware.
  • 1975

    In 1975, the second Stadtallendorf plant was set up, where brass hardware was produced for the first time.
  • 1979

    Since 1979, in line with the expansion of the company, HOPPE has been pursuing a brand-name strategy, aimed at familiarising endusers with the Handle of excellence as a design feature on doors and windows.
  • 1987

    In 1987, HOPPE expanded its range to include large-scale production of polyamide handles at the newly inaugurated plant in Laas, also in South Tyrol.
  • 1988

    HOPPE (UK) in Wolverhampton came into being in 1988 as a sales office for the British market. An important milestone in the development of this company was the purchase of one of the leading hardware distributors in England, Charter Hardware, in 1997.
  • 1989

    In 1989, HOPPE crossed the Atlantic to Fort Atkinson (Wisconsin), joining up with an American trading company and taking it over in 1991 (today’s HOPPE North America). Since 1997 special products for the American market have also been manufactured here.

 

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  • Construction of the plant in Schluderns Construction of the plant in Schluderns
  • Müstair Müstair
  • Construction of the plant in St. Martin
  • Plant in Laas Plant in Laas
  • Wolverhampton branch Wolverhampton branch
  • Plant in Fort Atkinson
Further expansion and consolidation
Further expansion and consolidation 1990 to present
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  • 1991

    With the reunification of Germany in 1990, Friedrich Hoppe and his sons were determined to make an active contribution to the setting up of the free and social market economy in East Germany. So they took over a former state-owned hardware company in Crottendorf, Saxony, in 1991, while at the same time building a totally new plant there, which became operational in 1993.
  • 1995

    At the Stadtallendorf production site, the first plant was converted to stainless steel hardware production in 1995.
  • 1996

    Finally, a production plant was set up in Chomutov in the Czech Republic in 1996.
  • 2005

    In 2005, a new production hall was built onto the existing plant 1, in Stadtallendorf, with plant 2 moving there also. The two (too) small plants, therefore, have been replaced by one large, efficient, cost-optimised plant.

 

Overview of the development to date

In 2012, the company’s strategy project – its “most intensive fitness programme” to this day – was launched with the aim of renovating structures in order to optimise the efficiency of the processes and thus to maximise customer benefit. The entire package included about a dozen individual projects and had an effect on every area of the company. A central project was the optimisation of production, which bundled the competencies of the production facilities and focused each factory on its own particular strengths. As one of the results, production of all brass hardware was concentrated in a single factory, with the plant in St. Martin having to be closed in 2013. The biggest change occurred at the factory in Crottendorf, which became the logistics centre for the whole HOPPE Group.

 

International marketing by HOPPE AG in Müstair with its subsidiaries in France, Spain and China (Hong Kong) was strengthened from 2002, with the founding of several different representative offices. A further step in the expansion and the reorganisation of marketing structures followed within the framework of the strategy project. Subsidiaries and representative offices in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the Middle East, Austria, China (Shanghai), Finland and Sweden form the basis for even more growth.

 

Since 1979, in line with the expansion of the company, HOPPE has been pursuing a brand name strategy, aimed at familiarising end users with the Handle of excellence as a design feature on doors and windows. The corporate design created then was subtly modernised on the occasion of the company’s 60th anniversary. The aim of the multi-brand strategy, also developed in 2012, is to strengthen the core brand “HOPPE – Handle of excellence.” through clear differentiation and to develop market and product segments that cannot be reached by the core brand with “ARRONE – The complete range”, the product brand.

 

In 1992, the pioneer himself officially handed over control of the HOPPE Group to his sons, who had proven they were up to such responsibility, after working successfully together with him. Both had decided from the beginning to carry on with the business and were trained accordingly.

 

Through the Holding, both company owners jointly run the HOPPE Group. It’s here where strategic decisions are made prior to ensuring their implementation in the national companies.

 

Christian Hoppe, the eldest son of Wolf and Hedda Hoppe, officially joined the company in 2012, securing the continuation of HOPPE as a company run by the owning family into the third generation.
By signing the family charter on 28th August 2014, the family established their binding ethical framework for the further organisation and operation of the company.

 

What stands out in the HOPPE Group, despite its present size, is the friendly, personal atmosphere and general air of congeniality throughout the company as a result of its family ownership. This was also noticed by the former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Horst Köhler, when he visited the HOPPE plant in Crottendorf on 9th December 2005. He took an interest in the discussion of general economic and strategic ideas, as well as touring the production facility and getting to know the apprentices. In talking to employees, he was able to discover that the fundamental ideas about the value-based and purpose-oriented company leadership, presented to him earlier, can be felt in day-to-day working life.

 

And so the company has grown from modest beginnings in Heiligenhaus to a worldwide business with headquarters in Switzerland since 1993. Today, the HOPPE Group, with its seven production plants plus sales offices in Europe, the USA and Asia, is one of the leading hardware producers in the world.

 

In making sustainability a priority in the way business is conducted, not just financially but in social and ecologic matters too, coupled with over sixty years’ experience in developing, producing and marketing hardware, it has been possible, with continuing globalisation, to increase the survivability of the HOPPE Group, even in times of turbulent markets.

 

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  • Groundbreaking ceremony for Crottendorf plant Groundbreaking ceremony for Crottendorf plant
  • Plant in Chomutov Plant in Chomutov
  • Plant Stadtallendorf Plant Stadtallendorf
  • Friedrich Hoppe and his sons Wolf and Christoph Hoppe 2002: Friedrich Hoppe and his sons
    Wolf and Christoph Hoppe
  • Visiting German President Köhler 09.12.2005: Visiting German President
    Köhler in HOPPE plant in Crottendorf
  • Inauguration HOPPE (Shanghai) Ltd.
  • The entrepreneurs: Christoph Hoppe, Wolf Hoppe and Christian Hoppe The entrepreneurs: Christoph Hoppe, Wolf Hoppe and Christian Hoppe