The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

The important story of the rise and fall of the Steinhoff empire is one for the history books.

It was in 1964 when Bruno Steinhoff saw an opportunity to take cheaply made furniture in the east, and transfer it across the Berlin wall - for a profit to the West says Financial Mail editor Rob Rose. He adds that Bruno Steinhoff exploited this opportunity so well, that when the Berlin wall collapsed in 1989, the company expanded into various countries including Holland and Poland.

Read: Steinhoff announces 2016 financial to be restated

In the 1900s, Bruno Steinhoff, who was the founder comes over here and buys 35% of this company called Gomma Gomma.

Rob Rose, Editor of the Financial Mail

From there, the company starts boosting up its position and lists on the JSE in 1998 says Rose, adding that Steinhoff started off as a small furniture company, and after a while – started to buy various assets.

Furniture is ultimately at its root.

Rob Rose, Editor of the Financial Mail

Rose says that Steinhoff morphed into this monster that we have come to know. At the moment, it has huge exposure overseas in retail firms located in France and America.

At the moment I think only 29% of sales were really coming from South Africa.

Rob Rose, Editor of the Financial Mail

Rose say that Steinhoff owned an unimaginable amount of retail outlets like JD group, Russells, Furniture City, HiFi Corp, Bradlows, Incredible Connections, and overseas retails like Pound Lands in Europe and Mattress Firm in America.

Listen to more on the Steinhoff saga in the audio below...


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