On 10 August 2023, we are looking back on 75 years of company history. From 1948 until today, three generations of entrepreneurs and employees have developed the family business into a leading manufacturer in Europe with perseverance, responsibility and courage.
Our founder Willy Pelz began in 1948 with the production of cotton wool, with six employees in a rented production hall.
In the first 25 years, he carried out pioneering entrepreneurial work and created the basis in production and sales for the development into an efficient and quality-conscious supplier of hygiene products. The consistent management and control of product quality from a single source with a continuous increase in productivity pays off in healthy growth. The employees also benefit from this. Willy Pelz expressed his social responsibility as early as the 1950s by founding a pension fund and building company flats. At the same time, he is a strong driver for the economic development of the Wahlstedt site.
People, machines, brands
At the beginning of the 1960s, the twin brothers Manfred and Udo Pelz join the company and continue our success story together with Willy Pelz. With the production of plastic films and technical nonwovens, we expand the value chain, and with new products such as bin liners, panty liners and cotton buds, we expand our sales activities nationally and internationally. Pelz is also successful as a supplier for other manufacturers: For many years, the nonwoven fabric for the European Pampers baby nappy is manufactured in Wahlstedt.
While many competitors moved their production to Asia or Eastern Europe in the 1990s, Pelz stood firmly by its location in Wahlstedt and resisted the lure of lavish subsidies after reunification. Instead, we consistently invest in the latest production facilities and automated processes and continue to expand our market position in the trade with innovative product ideas. Demand for our own brands such as pely, Q-tips and Cosmea is increasing, as is contract production for private labels.
Growth through automation and new business fields
In 2001, Dr. Nikolas Bastian, son-in-law of Udo Pelz, joins the company as the third generation. He pushes growth in the private label sector and forms alliances with other manufacturers. Acquisitions allow access to new markets and strengthen the market position. In 2013 Dr. Bastian ventures into the market for light incontinence. With success, within a very short time we become one of the largest manufacturers in Europe. And within ten years, the number of employees and turnover doubles.
The continuous growth leads to further investments, such as a fully automated, 40-metre-high high-bay warehouse with 14,000 pallet spaces and, most recently, a 100-metre-long production line for incontinence pull-up pants.