Stralsund – The cradle of German department store culture
Built in 1903 and expanded in 1927, the Alt-Wertheim in the center of the Hanseatic and World Heritage city of Stralsund is one of the few remaining historic department stores in Germany. The first thing worth seeing is the magnificent facade of the listed building. One of the original two atriums was restored several years ago and is accessible via the fashion store Olymp & Hades. Here, the Wertheim emblem and historic mosaics and figures adorn the walls.
Just a few meters further on, Leonhard Tietz operated his first textile store from 1879, which was expanded several times. Behind the brick facade of a new building erected in 1927 in the style of the New Objectivity is today the branch of a drugstore. The department store chains Hertie and Kaufhof developed from the houses of the Tietz family.
The two German-Jewish families Wertheim and Tietz opened their first stores in Stralsund as early as the second half of the 19th century. Before making the leap to Berlin and other German cities, they tested revolutionary sales principles in the Hanseatic city. The history of the major German department stores Wertheim and Kaufhof, which continues to be eventful to this day, began in Stralsund.