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The Popken Family History in Fashion Retail
125 Years and 4 Generations (1880 - 2005)
1880 1st Generation
At the age of 25, Johann Popken acquires a city building in a prime location, and opens his first apparel store in Hameln, Germany. He earns his reputation for having a unique interior design, the best price-quality ratio in town, as well as for his innovative marketing campaigns and outstanding customer service. Johann dies at the young age of 50, and in 1905 his wife Elisabeth Popken takes over the store. At an age of 19 their first son Conrad inherits the store and overtakes operations as his mother ages. Conrad dies at the age of 29 serving his country in France during World War I, resulting in the continuation of his mother running the store.
1922 2nd Generation
Their second son, Fritz Popken, takes over operational business. Fritz Popken has two sons, G.I. Popken and Friedrich Popken. He develops the company and tailored clothing for men becomes his core competence. In 1960, at the age of 64, Fritz Popken health is suffering, leading him to decide to sign a long term lease with a local entrepreneur to run business operations. The name Popken is used in Hameln until 1983 representing the leading most innovative fashion store in the city. The building housing the original store is still owned by the Popken family.
1968 3rd Generation
Married to Ursula Popken, Friedrich Popken opens his first children apparel store in Oldenburg, Germany. The upscale children apparel market is suffering due to discounters being able to work with lower costs and margins. Friedrich Popken therefore decides to change his business strategy and specialize in maternity wear. Furthering his concept, he opens more stores, starts mail order and a franchising branch. Just before the birth rate is falling and business weakens, he applies a new growth strategy called Ulla Popken: Young Fashion for Plus-Sized Women. Today it is number one in its segment Europe-wide with over 300 outlets.
1998 4th Generation
Edo Popken becomes a worldwide registered trademark. In 2001 Edo Popken creates his first upscale men apparel collection. He launches his integrated fashion retail concept in 2004 called Cosmopolitan Successwear. The Pro Fashion Lounge in Zurich is established as Edo Popken first store and is paralled by his on-line shop. He then starts a joint venture with Ulla Popken Ltd. Baltimore, MD, owned by sister Astrid Popken-Schneider, in order to grow his business in North America. Today the company is rolling out this concept globally via franchising, shop-in-shop and wholesale. Edo Popken Ltd. is aiming towards England, Russia, UAE and continuing further towards Japan.