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by Rachel Goddard

December 14th, 2016

The secret to success for German Christmas retailer Käthe Wohlfahrt – new in York this year

With the festive season in full swing, we’d like to introduce one of the wonderfully exciting new clients we’ve been working with this year. Internationally renowned, German Christmas decoration retailer, Käthe Wohlfahrt opened their UK shop in the heart of York this summer. Now occupying the beautiful medieval building on Stonegate, formerly Mulberry Hall, Käthe Wohlfahrt is bursting with unique, hand-crafted Christmas decorations, gifts and collectables. Not only are their products brilliant, the company is a shining example of how to build business success by living your brand values.

What is the secret of Käthe Wohlfahrt’s success?

Through working closely with the company and the team, we have all been delighted with the response from shoppers who have been visiting the store since it opened. Käthe Wohlfahrt is well known by people from all over the UK even before it came to York. Customers remember the magical experience they had when visiting one of its shops in other cities across the world, and have recognised the brand when it opened in York. They remember the warm and friendly staff who really reflect the ethos of the company, the unique and beautifully hand-crafted products and the memories of a joyous Christmas spent with family that the shop evokes as soon as you step through the door. We think that these values are Käthe Wohlfahrt’s ‘secret ingredient’ and are the reason customers love the company so much and why they have such a huge following across the world.

As leadership expert Simon Sinek explains in this TEDtalk, people don’t become loyal customers and advocates of your brand because of what you do – they buy into why you do it. It’s the secret of success for brands like Apple and Nike, and also for Käthe Wohlfahrt. So Käthe Wohlfahrt doesn’t just sell beautiful Christmas decorations, it ‘sells’ the desire to share the joy of a traditional family Christmas. It is the reason ‘why’ Käthe Wohlfahrt is in business – and what makes it really attractive to people.

Käthe Wohlfahrt Staff

Bringing brand culture to life – all year round

The ‘why’ of Käthe Wohlfahrt is so heavily rooted in everything that they do that the company is able to sustain a business that sells the magic of Christmas all year round. Its shops and team are the very embodiment of Christmas spirit, of traditional family values, of happiness and enjoyment and a joy to wander around any time of the year, particularly at Christmas. It has a team of craftsmen in Rothenburg in Germany who design and hand craft unique Christmas products from wood, pewter and glass. The company has been so successful at becoming synonymous with Christmas that it opened a Christmas Museum in 2000 where visitors from across the world can learn about the history of a traditional German Christmas.

For its only shop in the UK, Käthe Wohlfahrt wanted a ‘destination’ that fitted with its brand. Harald Wohlfahrt, Managing Director, had been visiting York for more than 40 years and he had long admired the city and timber framed medieval building occupied by Mulberry Hall on Stonegate. It fits very much with the style of other Käthe Wohlfahrt buildings across Europe. He couldn’t believe his luck when the shop came up for lease earlier this year, and he was finally able to realise his dream of opening a Käthe Wohlfahrt shop in these beautiful premises. In keeping with its family and brand values, the company retained many of the staff who had worked for Mulberry Hall, ensuring that its high standards of customer service could be maintained.

Mixing business and family – a winning combination

One thing that Käthe Wohlfahrt demonstrates very clearly is that, while business is important, family is more important than anything. So if you can have a flourishing business that not only embraces family values, but actually lives and breathes and shares them every day – and builds its very success around them – we think you have a truly winning combination. We recommend a visit this Christmas and the chance to create your own family Christmas tradition.

We’d like to sign off for 2016 by sending our warmest wishes to you and your families at this special time of year. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas. See you again in 2017.

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