Häfele’s ‘ideas for living’ philosophy is all about enhancing contemporary spaces and lifestyles. Yet the story of the company is steeped in history: built on a solid foundation of innovation and courage.
Born into a time of political and social upheaval following the First World War, Häfele was a bold dream realised by two young men, Adolf Häfele and Hermann Funk. Their Württemberg store, which specialised in joinery and carpentry supplies, opened in 1923, and relocated to Nagold, the former mecca for furniture production, four years later.
Establishing a solid network of woodworking shops and furniture manufacturers in the region, Häfele’s dedication to industry and product knowledge, their speedy delivery and reliability, and their commitment to customer service, have formed the bedrock of the company as it stands today.
In 1933 Häfele participated in their first foreign trade fair in Strasbourg. Presenting furniture fittings for bedrooms and kitchens, the company scooped the Gold Medal for its striking exhibition stand. At this time, Häfele also started exporting fittings to neighbouring countries.
The year World War II erupted, Häfele produced its very first product catalogue, which was distributed throughout Germany and beyond – forming the foundation for international sales of Häfele products. This expansion also saw the development of their first logo, which featured a globe to signify their worldwide reach.
Häfele emerged largely unscathed from the War. In 1946, the demand for fittings and joinery was at an all-time high with the rebuild of cities all over Europe. The following year saw Häfele’s nephew, Walther Thierer, join the company to assist with its expansion.
Having celebrated 25 years in business in 1948, Adolf Häfele died – just one year later. His 26-year-old nephew, Walther, took over the company’s management with the support of the Häfele and Thierer family shareholders.
Häfele entered into production of special fittings for furniture and brass grills in 1954, which quickly gained momentum – so much so that the production area needed to be expanded several times over.
The swinging sixties was an era of optimism, and through this time Häfele served the domestic market and expanded into Switzerland, where the company established their first foreign subsidiary.
By the early seventies, Häfele’s export levels accounted for 40% of their business; and the company had established a reputation as one of the pioneers of the export nation. In 1971, Häfele offered more than 25,000 articles for sale in The Complete Häfele – a reference book and instructional textbook containing detailed drawings and installation instructions. At the time, it was the largest reference tool for furniture fittings in the world, and has since been translated into more than 24 languages.
1980 - present
From the eighties to the present day, Häfele has consistently added foreign subsidiaries to its impressive portfolio, so that Häfele is now available in every continent around the globe.
When you choose Häfele, you benefit from decades of specialist knowledge and experience; brought to life with ideas that will enhance your everyday experiences for many years to come.
03 343 5559 | hafele.co.nz