AW Niemeyer - A. W. Niemeyer

A. W. Niemeyer GmbH (AWN)

legal form GmbH
founding 1745
Seat Hamburg
management Christoph Steinkuhl
(Managing Director)
Number of employees 140 (2018)[1]
Branch Yacht and boat equipment

The AW Niemeyer GmbH or short AWN is a German yacht - and boating equipment. AWN sells goods in stores, in Internet shops and by mail order . The origins of the company, which has developed from an ironmonger to an internationally known ship supplier, go back to the first half of the 18th century. AW Niemeyer is one of the oldest trading houses in Hamburg .

Company history

First company building on Rödingsmarkt (built 1746)
Company building after the First World War (built 1912 / destroyed 1943)
Announcement from the Admiralty Concerning the Seizure of Stock in Case of Mobilization (September 14, 1905)

In 1745 the merchant Johann Daniel Wuppermann (1714–1789), who immigrated from the vicinity of Barmen , founded a hardware store on Rödingsmarkt in Hamburg. It is documented that he moved his residence there in 1742 and married a Hanseatic daughter. [2]

From a minutes of the Senate of the Hanseatic city from 1747 it emerges that Daniel Wuppermann offered himself to the Hamburg administration not only as a trader, but also as an industrialist. And so around 1752 he founded an iron foundry on Grasbrook and around 1755 an iron hammer in the east of Hamburg, in Friedrichsruh am Sachsenwald . Today it is assumed that he sold his products at Rödingsmarkt to master craftsmen, ship carpenters and sailmakers , among others .

In mid-1779, Wuppermann's son-in-law August Wilhelm Schmilinsky (1747–1810) entered the business, which has since been called “Wuppermann & Schmilinsky” for many decades. He led the company for more than 20 years. After his death, responsibility for the company rested in the hands of his widow and three sons for around another 50 years .

At the beginning of 1862 the Hamburg merchant Amandus Wilhelm Niemeyer (1835-1892) took over the company and from then on operated under the name "AW Niemeyer, Wuppermann & Schmilinsky successor". After a few difficult years, the company had adapted to the changed economic framework and benefited from the upswing that was beginning at that time. The population of Hamburg doubled between 1870 and 1895 due to the influx of industrial workers to over 650,000 and the company, now called AWN for short by its customers, specialized in marine equipment and became the most important supplier in the Port of Hamburg .

Around 1902 the son, Jacob Ernst Rudolph Niemeyer (1873–1945) took over the company. As an outward sign of the success of that time, a new company headquarters was built on Rödingsmarkt between 1908 and 1910, a highly modern high-rise building with nine floors. At that time, Niemeyer was so important as an outfitter for the German Navy that in 1905 a notification from the Admiralty ordered parts of the inventory to be confiscated in the event of mobilization.

After the First World War and inflation , things picked up again. The business connections to friends all over the world were re-established. Ships whose names were known at the time, such as the luxury yacht Savarona , the large passenger ships Cap Polonio , Cap Arcona , Monte Rosa , the Europa , the whaling mother ships Jan Wellem and Walter Rau with their fishing boats and many more were equipped by AWN.

After the company was destroyed in World War II , it was rebuilt at Rödingsmarkt at the end of the war. The port grew with the city. Hundreds of new ships, from the luxury yacht Christina to the super tankers of the large tanker shipping companies, were equipped by AWN after the war and the department for yacht and boat accessories grew with the ever increasing number of boats on the coast, on rivers and lakes.

In the fall of 1955, Gert Henry Georg Niemeyer, a grandson of the founder, who had been an employee since 1934 and a partner since 1942, returned from a Soviet captivity. He took over the management of the old family business from the hands of the employees who had successfully carried out the reconstruction, and from 1960 concentrated on the then rapidly growing number of “hobby skippers ”.

With the integration of the company HSB, a smaller specialist for the construction of aluminum masts and representatives of important hardware manufacturers, as well as a participation (the takeover) in the company Bösch in Altona , the tool and machine range of AWN expanded in November 1970.

In 1973 the Hamburg entrepreneur Peter Flammang acquired the trading company from the previous owner. Peter Flammang, who is active in the international business with industrial plants and ship newbuildings and repairs with his company AW seam (an only coincidental equality of the abbreviation AWN), brings the first known mail order catalog for water sports enthusiasts onto the market in 1974 , which has been published annually since then and water sports enthusiasts all over the world Europe reached.

The catalog title Der Ausrüster is reminiscent of the years around 1900, in which AWN in Hamburg became the most important supplier for the port and the commercial shipping industry at the time. The AWN catalog served as a guide for sailors and motorboat drivers alike, as it covered almost the entire spectrum of product ranges for the international water sports sector.

In 1989 AWN acquired the Kiel specialist shop Robert G. Ernst with the rigging shop attached there, and thus opened the first AWN branch. This was followed in 1990 by the “House of Water Sports Neptune” in the Berlin district of Köpenick . With the takeover of this "formerly first address for water sports in the GDR ", a second AWN branch was created.

In 1992 a modern logistics center was built at Holstenkamp in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld . The growing customer base and the higher demands of customers on the shopping environment prompted the company in 1999 to build a considerably larger premises in Bahrenfeld, which was opened in 2001.

At the same time, company boss Peter Flammang resigned as managing director and handed the company over to the Hamburg businessman Michael Ortmüller. Within a year, the previous owner left and Christoph Kroschke, owner of the Kroschke Group from Ahrensburg , became the new owner. In the next few years new branches were opened in Germany and with locations in Austria and Switzerland, the brand took the step abroad. Christian Hofmann has been a managing partner since 2013. As of 2015, AW Niemeyer claims to be the market leader among yacht and boat outfitters. [3]At the same time as various expansions in the branch business, investments were made early on in the development of further sales channels. Today there is the internet shop in 10 countries: Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden.


Commons : AW Niemeyer - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. AWN "crew"
  2. ^ Wedde's wedding book in the Hamburg State Archives
  3. Company history on the company homepage

Coordinates: 53 ° 34 ′ 15.6 " N , 9 ° 55 ′ 16.3" E