Kreativkaufhaus Edelhoff, Berlin-Lichtenberg
A vision becomes reality
In the mid 90s in Berlin, Karl Edelhoff and his business partner Anna Sachs began to
plan a store with event character. At the beginning of September that long lasting dream became reality - under unusual circumstances.
Sparkling sunshine, hundreds of people, happy music and funny clowns - the shopping center Storkower Bogen showed itself at its best, and for a reason, the 2nd of September was the official opening.
As heart piece of the center, the Edelhoff Kreativkaufhaus is meant to bring attractivity and life to the whole complex, and has been granted an advertising budget within the six digit range for this and next year.
Vision meets vision
In the mid 90s, Karl Edelhoff already regularly mentioned his idea of a "Kreativkaufhaus" with events to appeal to a larger range of customers.
He already drew attention to himself with the opening of a 600-m2-store, as well as with the more recent opening of his "creative shop" in the Leipziger Strasse.
That was already visionary: the industry supported the impulse, which could have the ability to draw more attention to the whole business. But Edelhoff and his long time business partner Anna sachs kept planning.
The rooms where still too small to produce a spectacular event feeling.
Coincidence finally led to the meeting of Karl Edelhoff and Gerhard Kanzler, CEO of 24 large shopping centers in Germany and visionary in his own right.
Within one year the vision became stone. The old, run down public swimming pool in the Rudolf-Seiffert-Strasse in Berlin-Lichtenberg was the ideal setting for the joint operation.
Kanzler arranged and financed the complete renovation of the 1.800 m2 building. The 600 m2 pool was filled in, internal architects and store builders planned the room and look, Kanzler granted an unusually high advertising budget.
And finally, the industry once more sprung to action, lending employees that up to the grand opening on September the second helped Edelhoff and his team with the furnishing and filling of the house.
In the mean time, Gerhard Kanzler hired an advertising agency for bill board advertisement. While he himself took care of conception and creation of the whole center, Edelhoff used his advertising budget for ads in the daily newspapers and organized the opening events.
Dreams come true
With drums and trumpets countless people where lured in to the Storkower Bogen for three days. Strategically lying right next to the S-Bahn, the center is easy to reach.
Point twelve o'clock on the 2nd of September, Gerhard Kanzler opened the Kreativkaufhaus und presented Karl Edelhoff with the "golden key". Within the store, people where, since nine o'clock, standing in lines that would not dissolve until late afternoon.
The need for high quality art and hobby supplies seems to find its ideal answer in the opening of this store. On the event space a pencil crafter of the company Staedler presented his age old craft. Workshops and demonstrations lured more and more people to the event and invited them to stay longer.
Edelhoffs employees had their hands full with consultation. Managers from the PBS and creative business took the chance to exchange and converse. Catering, clowns and cool jazz took care of entertainment until late in to the evening. Karl Edelhoff and Anna Sachs barely had a chance to catch their breath.
"That the customers have the patience to stand in line shows how strong the wish for creativity is" the two said happily. Gerhard Kanzlers wish for it seems to have no end aswell. The pationate friend of culture already plans the next Kreativkaufhaus in Munich. As a visionary, of course together with the visionary Edelhoff.
Source: HobbyArt - No.6 / November 2005/scho