The History of Mäurer & Wirtz
Stolberg, Europe and the World
A success story about Michael Mäurer and Andreas August Wirtz who founded a soap company in 1845.
Their market was limited and located in the Stolberg region near Aachen. Their portfolio was reasonable – Mäurer & Wirtz produced soft soaps, curd soaps, special detergents for the textile industry and fine soaps. The point of sale was a small grocery shop. Nevertheless, the products made by Mr. Mäurer and Mr. Wirtz from Stolberg impressed customers. Word quickly got around about the quality and the demand rose.
On the path to expansion
Already a few years after its establishment, the company Mäurer & Wirtz was expanding. Initially, the surrounding areas were only accessible via pushcarts, whilst the Rhineland and Westphalia areas in Germany could be reached by horse-drawn carriage. These limited operations were followed by exports to neighbouring countries, e.g. Belgium, The Netherlands. Soon after they were producing in the elegant city of Paris under licence – and a shaving soap recipe from Stolberg progressed to a bestseller in distant San Francisco.
The company continues to grow
Mäurer & Wirtz continued to grow with time. In 1884, they began the production of detergent. Very soon after, a new factory had to be built – complete with electricity from hydroelectric power. Before the turn of the century the first trademarks were registered and an advertising specialist was cautiously hired. To make logistics easier, the next factory (1913) was equipped with its own railway connection.
Development into an international perfume manufacturer
Gradually, the handicraft business developed into an industrial company and became an international brand. Soaps and detergents would soon be only one mainstay of the company to be followed by cosmetics and perfumes. Brand products were created that conquered German and European markets proving themselves both successful and durable – products that would shapes generations of consumers to come.
Carrying on the tradition
As an independent subsidiary of the Dalli Group, the company from Stolberg is active in more than 100 markets: a brand manufacturer with unique experience and one of the earliest companies in the sector for fragrances and personal care products. Thanks to a family that not only contributed expertise but invested all their passion in the company, Mäurer & Wirtz has remained a true family company – meanwhile in its fifth generation. Company founder Andreas August Wirtz’s only wish was that his offspring would “carry on the business with heart and soul.” His wish came true.
Milestones & Stages
Michael Mäurer and his step-son Andreas August Wirtz found a soap-making company in Stolberg near Aachen. Not long after, the curd-, soft- and fine soaps are also sold in Rhineland, Westphalia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The recipes from Stolberg are popular throughout the world: Licensed soap is produced in Paris and a recipe for shaving soap becomes popular in San Francisco.
The company develops a new business segment with the production of powdered detergent.
With the new factory outside the city, the transformation to an industrial company is complete. Water power provides the new location with electricity.
Mäurer & Wirtz expands: large-scale mass production begins at the company location with the railway connection.
After the expansion, luxury soaps such as Tabac are produced in Vienna.
Production of these luxury soaps begins in Stolberg and with this the foundation for the sales programme of luxury products by Mäurer & Wirtz is laid.
Two independent business areas develop out of “dalli-Werke Mäurer & Wirtz“: Soaps and body care products for more sophisticated needs are henceforth produced by Mäurer & Wirtz (M&W). All powdered detergernt products belong to dalli brand (DMA).
The women’s series Nonchalance is created. The first product introduced is soap. Soon after, the men’s series Tabac Original is introduced.
Nonchalance enters the market as an Eau de Cologne.
Pearl Soap with a pearlescent effect is introduced.
The family company restructures itself and Mäurer & Wirtz GmbH & Co. KG is formed.
Mäurer & Wirtz enters the licensed business and introduces a fragrance line to the market for Betty Barclay.
The first licensed fragrance for the fashion label s.Oliver is created.
Licensed fragrances for the Otto Kern brand are introduced.
Mäurer & Wirtz takes on the perfume brands 4711, Tosca, Sir Irisch Moos and Extase. With this, the traditional fragrance 4711 is once again in the Rhineland area.
Acqua Colonia enters the market as a sub-brand of 4711.
Strellson is the first men’s fragrance to be introduced in the premium segment. Not long after, men’s and women’s fragrances for the famous German designer Michael Michalsky are also introduced.
Mäurer & Wirtz takes over the fragrance business for the Baldessarini brand from competitor Procter & Gamble. All fragrances and body care products are integrated into the prestige segment.
A big celebration takes place on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of Mäurer & Wirtz/DALLI-WERKE.
The brand Betty Barclay Fragrances becomes 25 years old.
The Tabac brand turns 60, the 4711 Acqua Colonia fragrance collection celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Mäurer & Wirtz launches the new fragrance brands Route 66 and Les Destinations
The iconic brand 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser celebrates its 230th birthday