history

From craftsman’s workshop to international group

Solid craftsmanship has been a tradition at Wanzl from the outset. What started out as a craftsman’s workshop has long since become a global group with a wide and varied product range with impressive production depth. Our focus is on premium quality, new technologies and innovative, functional design.

1918

Rudolf Wanzl Senior opens a metalworking shop in Giebau (Sudetenland).

1947

A new beginning after expulsion: Rudolf Wanzl Senior and Rudolf Wanzl Junior establish a workshop in Leipheim making scales and providing repair services.

1948

Wanzl products are used in the first self-service pilot project in Augsburg.

1949

The “Produktion” consumer cooperative opens the first self-service shop in Hamburg. Wanzl supplies 40 shopping trolleys and 100 baskets. 

1950

The first patent: the stackable shopping basket with hinged handle, the design of which remains virtually unchanged to this day. At this time, there are only 20 self-service shops throughout Germany.

1951

The first “Concentra” shopping trolley with a fixed basket is patented. Wanzl now employs 50 staff and achieves a turnover of DM 750,000.

1954

The 200th self-service store in Germany opens its doors.

1955

Logo from the 1950s

1956

There are now 1,400 self-service shops, openings are increasing rapidly. There are now 74 employees at Wanzl helping to generate a turnover of DM 1 million.

1966

Wanzl now employs 400 staff and turnover has increased to over DM 16 million.

1970-1983

New branches are founded in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, France and Belgium.

1990

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the self-service concept spreads to the former East Germany and opens up new markets. In Leipheim, Plant IV begins operation.

1991

The Shop Solutions business division is founded.

1991-1994

Branches are established in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Group turnover exceeds DM 300 million.

1995

The new Wanzl plant with administration and production facilities is opened in the Czech Republic.

1998

The third generation takes over, with Gottfried Wanzl taking over the management of the company after 10 years as Managing Director. Branches are established in China and Spain. 

2000

Production of shopping trolleys begins in the leased Wanzl plant in Shanghai.

2001

The Passenger Handling Services business division is founded. Branches are established in Italy, South Korea, Slovakia and Russia.

2002

The Logistics+Industry business division is founded, as well as a branch in Melbourne, Australia. 

2003

The Tango plastic shopping trolley is launched.

2005

Market launch with attractive long-term displays. The new Wanzl brand logo fuses modernity with timelessness.

2006

The Hotel Service division is added. A branch is established in Ukraine.

2007

Wanzl opens its own plant with administration and production facilities in China. The production areas in Plants II and IV in Leipheim are expanded.

Wanzl plant in Shanghai

Wanzl Plant II in Leipheim

Wanzl Plant IV in Leipheim

2008

Opening of the branch in the United Arab Emirates.

2009

The Wanzl Creative Center is opened and a branch is established in India. There is also an increase in “non-food” shopfitting, due to the integration of Unseld, a shopfitting firm with an efficient joinery workshop.

2011

In China, systems for electroplating and surface coating are brought into operation.

2012

Acquisition of the North American market leader for shopping trolleys, Technibilt/Cari-All.

2014

The new electroplating system is launched in Plant IV. The new sales centre and warehouse are opened in Austria.

2017

Takeover of Scandinavian shopfitting specialists Expedit. Expansion of production areas at the Czech plant in Hněvotín.