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Established in Geneva in 1902

 

A Swiss family enterprise spanning over a century, four continents and four generations of the Maus and Nordmann clans. In November 1902, department store owner Leon Nordmann with close friends, brothers Ernest and Henri Maus (mercantile and hosiery wholesalers) formed a partnership and opened their first venture in Luzern. The department store specialised in textiles, notions and knitwear. Relatively modest in surface compared to leading Parisian department stores of the day, that first store boasted avant-garde commercial retail sense and practices:

  • keen quality-to-price ratio: a wide assortment of quality goods at affordable prices
  • centralised and grouped purchasing arms: volume order discounts and lowered store prices of goods
  • client comfort and satisfaction : personalized services, store guarantee on quality of merchandise and price stability
  • forward-looking and strategic expansion within city and country, and beyond continental borders

in a distinctly family business environment.

Today, Maus Frères SA is run with the same astute business flair of the enterprise’s founders. Succeeding generations of Maus and Nordmann heirs have parlayed the chain’s modest beginnings into a conglomerate of well-known retail brands and store chains in Switzerland and worldwide.

1800 - 1900

At the turn of the century, major capitals were struck by a wave of new stores that would radically change the buying habits of consumers all over the world. The stores were usually not small affairs but dramatic structures of marble, glass and steel. No longer would a customer have to go in and out of individual shops. They could now do their shopping “under one roof”. Stores boasted several floors.

 

Merchandise was artfully displayed in distinct “departments”: Hardware, Apparel, Kitchenware, etc. Prices were fixed. Customer comfort while shopping was a given. Elevators were installed. Elevator operators hired. Salespersons counselled. Floorwalkers ensured that shoppers were served... and served well. Porters carried parcels to customers’ waiting cars. While special catalogue orders could still be placed, catalogue shopping was now a thing of the past. The DEPARTMENT STORE was born.

  

In Paris, London, New York, Brussels and Berlin, temples to the new shopping order rose. Fashionable “emporiums” – as they were known at the time – replaced the blandness of general and mercantile stores. Le Bon Marché, La Samaritaine, Bainbridges, Austin’s, Selfridges, Wanamaker’s, Macy’s became part of the world’s culture.

 

Drapers, haberdashers, hosiers and general merchants in tiny Switzerland were also swept up by the Department Store revolution changing the face of continental Europe.

  

Leon Nordmann, Ernest and Henri Maus were among the pioneers of Swiss department store history.

Fast Facts
  • The Maus group of companies, based in Geneva, is organised as a private partnership at the holding level.
  • Operations are monitored through Maus Frères SA, a joint stock company wholly owned by founding families Maus and Nordmann.

Policy

 

Code of Governance

 

Maus Frères SA is managed according to a dual-code of governance

The Family Code

 
RESPONSIBILITY
NURTURE
 

Responsibility

Organised as a private family partnership at the holding level, Maus Frères SA management assumes full and uncategorical commercial responsibilty in all transactions. This “unlimited” responsibility implies that, since decisions taken impact directly on family interests, care is taken to preserve at all costs, the Maus Frères SA commercial legacy.

Nurture

Clients, colleagues and the general public are active concerns of Maus Frères SA. A “People First” policy governs commercial decisions. Training, career planning and social infrastructures have been part of Maus Frères SA Human resources programmes for decades.

Humanitarian causes, public health issues such as AIDS, and the arts (among many others) have long been on the list of Maus Frères SA beneficiaries. A founding member of the PHILIAS Foundation (a Swiss CSR institution), Maus Frères SA is committed to practicing the principles of corporate Social responsibility.

Maus Frères SA engagement in social welfare activities are always carried out in utmost discretion.

Core competence

Retail Distribution has been and always will be the main Maus Frères SA focus. Retail Distribution is what Maus Frères SA companies do best. Over a century of experience in the activity is Maus Frères’s finest calling card.

Management Meritocracy

Maus Frères SA by-laws dictate that the CEO, as well as certain members of the board, be family members. Strict selection criteria and procedures ensure that nominations are based on competence. At the time of nomination, family members should have had several years of, and extensive, field experience.

Non-family members in key management positions are chosen with the same astringency as top management. Candidates may or may not come from within the group, but all share two main characteristics : excellence and a reputation in their specific field.

Expansion and Diversification

The founders of Maus Frères SA – as their entrepreneurial fathers before them – never stopped looking to expand. Each prospective location/acquisition was evaluated as a strategic supplement/complement to the “corporate whole”.

Maus Frères’s present harmonised organisational structure reflects the founders’ commercial mind-set. Each Maus Frères SA company represents a separate vital sector in retail distribution. Sales and operations sites are chosen within a framework of streamlined management.

Future acquisitions are evaluated according to the same “lean and mean” standards.

Check and Balance

Maus Frères SA has established strict procedures to ensure clear lines of command and an effective decision-making process. Decisions are taken on a collegial basis. The Maus Frères SA CEO reports to a Board and must get Board approval for all major decisions. In matters of strategy, Business unit heads act as advisers to the CEO and in turn, take decisions for their respective activities after consulting with the group’s CEO. Reputed external advisers are part of the Maus Frères SA control process.

Final decision lies with the Maus Frères SA CEO. This executive prerogative allows considerable flexibility and nimbleness in the decision-making process.

Social Consciousness

 

The fibre of a Maus/Nordmann upbringing. Family members are raised to regard good deeds not as charity but as social responsibility.

In1945, well before government imposition of obligatory health insurance, Maus Frères associates pooled from their personal resources a providential fund for employees.

Corporate social responsibility, ethical commerce, culture, community spirit development : Maus Frères SA has been in the forefront of socially conscious activities, programmes and foundations, internationally, nationally and within each family enterprise.

The PHILIAS Foundation (Europe), the MANOR CULTURAL AWARD (recognising Swiss young artists), MANOR department store Christmas Charity Appeal, are a few examples of on-going MFsa involvement.

MANOR CULTURAL AWARD
Artists nominated since 1982
Aarau
1989
Stefan GRITSCH
1990
Silvia BÄCHLI
1992
Christoph STORZ
1994
Beat ZODERER
1996
Renée LEVI
1998
Dominique LÄMMLI
2002
Daniel Robert HUNZIKER
2004
Ingrid WILDI
2007
Andreas ZYBACH
2009
Thomas GALLER
2011
Marianne ENGEL
Bâle
1987
Thomas HUBER
1988
Anna WINTELER
1989
Hannah VILLIGER
1990
Christine BRODBECK
1992
Elisabeth MASE
1994
Claudia & Julia MÜLLER
1996
Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER
1999
Daniela KEISER
2001
Lorenz HERSBERGER
2002
Markus MÜLLER
2004
Edit ODERBOLZ
2006
Boris REBETEZ
2008
Michael KLEIN
2010
Kilian RUETHEMANN
Bienne
2009
San KELLER
2011
Julia STEINER
Coire
1990
Gaudenz SIGNORELL
1992
Hans DANUSER
1994
Thomas ZINDEL
1996
Markus CASANOVA
1999
Pascale WIEDEMANN
2001
Gregori Andrea BEZZOLA
2002
Kurt CAVIEZEL
2004
Zilla LEUTENEGGER
2006
Gabriela GERBER & Lukas BARDILL
2008
Monika von AARBURG
2010
Bianca BRUNNER
Genève
1987
Philippe DELEGLISE
1988
Carmen PERRIN
1989
Gilles PORRET
1990
Daniel BERSET
1993
Marie José BURKI
1995
Christian ROBERT-TISSOT
1997
Francesca GABBIANI
2000
Elena MONTESINOS
2002
Pierre VADI
2003
Hervé GRAUMANN
2005
Donatella BERNARDI
2007
Jérôme LEUBA
2009
Marc BAUER
2011
Mai-Thu PERRET
Lausanne
1989
Laurent HUBERT
1990
Alain HUCK
1991
Laurence PITTET
1994
Bernard VOÏTA
1996
Ariane EPARS
1998
Anne PEVERELLI
2001
Nicolas SAVARY (Elysée)
2002
Philippe DECRAUZAT
2004
Didier RITTENER
2006
Catherine LEUTENEGGER
2009
Aloïs GODINAT
2011
Laurent KROPF
Lucerne
1982
Andreas GEHR
1983
Claude SANDOZ
1984
Luciano CASTELLI
1985
Eva STÜRMLIN
1986
Alexander FISCHER
1987
Herbert KAUFMANN
1988
Franz WANNER
1989
Rolf WINEWISSER
1990
Christoph RÜTIMANN
1992
Pia FRIES
1994
Albrecht SCHNIDER
1996
Remy MARKOWITSCH
1998
Markus DÖBELI
2001
Stefan BANZ
2002
Nils NOVA
2004
Tatjana MARUSIC
2007
Robert ESTERMANN
2009
Giacomo Santiago ROGADO
2011
Patricia BUCHER
Lugano
2005
Andrea CROCIANI
2007
Davide CASCIO
2008
Matteo TERZAGHI et MARCO ZÜRCHER
2011
Pascal SCHWEIGHOFER
Saint-Gall
1990
Peter KAMM
1991
Alex HANIMANN
1994
Pipilotti RIST
1996
Markus GEIGER
1998
Patrick ROHNER
2000
Christoph BÜCHEL
2002
Andeas LUTZ & Anders GUGGISBERG
2004
Caro NIEDERER
2006
Yves METTLER
2008
Christian VETTER
2010
Alexandra MAURER
Schaffhouse
1987
Markus HÄBERLI
1988
Carlo DOMENICONI
1989
Thomas GRANDY
1990
André BLESS
1992
Daniele BÜNZLI
1994
Katharina BÜRGIN
1996
Markus WETZEL
1998
Yves NETZHAMMER
2001
Olaf BREUNING
2002
Stefan SULZBERGER
2004
Zeljka MARUSIC & Andreas HELBLING
2006
Ines KARGEL & Fabian NEUHAUS
2008
Nele STECHER
2010
Kaspar MÜLLER
Sion
2007
Martina GMÜR
2010
Joëlle ALLET
Winterthur
1999
Britta HUTTENLOCHER
2001
Mario SALA
2002
Nick HESS
2004
Karim NOURELDIN
2006
Andro WEKUA
2008
David CHIEPPO
2011
Fabian MARTI

Practice

 

Over a Century of Commitment to CONTINUITY

Each Maus and Nordmann family member involved in the group's activities is committed to preserve time-honoured family business traditions and keep alive the values of quality, excellence and social consciousness instituted by Maus Frères founders

Founders

 
Leon Nordmann
Ernest and Henri Maus
1892
Ernest and Henri Maus open Maus Frères, a mercantile and hosiery wholesaler, and start a cottage industry of hosiers in Bienne, in the canton of Bern, Switzerland
 
1901
Maus Frères moves to Geneva and extends its network as supplier to independent shops.
 
1902
Leon Nordmann opens KAUFHAUS NORDMANN department store in Willisau, in the canton of Luzern, Switzerland
 
1902
Leon Nordmann enters into a partnership with suppliers and close friends Ernest and Henri Maus. The jointly-owned WARENHAUS LEON NORDMANN opens at N° 7 Weggisgasse, Luzern on November 1902.
 

Second Generation

 
André Maus
Robert Nordmann
1914
Creation
HAUSHALT AG drygoods and hardware depot
Hochdorf, Luzern
 
1928
Creation
RHEBA Purchasing central
Basel
 
1931
Creation
Société Alsacienne de Magasins à Prix Uniques, comptrolling body for Prisunic department stores in eastern France
France
 
1932
Opening
MAGAZINE ZUR RHEINBRUCKE department store
Basel
 
1938
Acquisition
BERGNER’S department store chain
Peoria, Illinois, USA
 
1952
Innovation *
Food Supermarket section in Maus Frères department stores
Nationwide
 
1953
Acquisition
NOUVELLES GALERIES first and leading department store chain in France, major association with Pierre Levi.
France
 
* 1 in Switzerland

Third Generation

 
Gérard and Philippe Nordmann
Jacques, Bertrand and Olivier Maus
1965
Innovation *
MANOR department store with private parking facilities
Sargans, Switzerland
 
1967
Inauguration
Flagship department store LA PLACETTE
Geneva, Switzerland
 
1968
Inauguration *
MANOR department store in a shopping mall
Spreitenbach, Switzerland
 
1970
Reorganisation
Operations Central with distinct divisions and directors for administration, sales and purchasing with purchasing centres in Basel and luzern
 
1972
Acquisition
PRINTEMPS Group (Printemps, Prisunic, Brummel, Armand Thierry,
La Redoute, Viniprix, Euromarché)
France
 
1974
Acquisition *
JUMBO hypermarket / do-it-yourself store chain
Dietlikon, Switzerland
 
1982
Innovation
MANORA independent restaurant chain
Nationwide
 
1982
Innovation *
Manor CULTURAL awards
Luzern
 
1985
Opening
CITY DISC record store chain
Basel, Switzerland
 
1989
Acquisition
CARSON PIRIE SCOTT department store chain
Chicago, USA
 
1991
Sale
PRINTEMPS Group to François Pinault withdrawal of investments in France and the United States
 
1992
Sale
CARSON PIRIE SCOTT department store chain withdrawal of investments
in the United States
 
* 1 in Switzerland

Fourth Generation

 
CEO Didier Maus
Thierry Halff, Pierre-André Maus
1994
Opening *
ELECTROPLUS consumer electronics chain
Hinwil, Switzerland
 
1994
Opening
JEANS & Co. streetwear boutique chain
Nationwide
 
1995
Opening *
ATHLETICUM sporting goods megastore chain
Nationwide
 
1996
Acquisition
ParaSHOP drugstore chain
France/italy
 
1998
Acquisition
DEVANLAY, manufacturer and distributor for LACOSTE lifestyle clothing
and accessories brand
Worldwide
 
1998
Acquisition
Franchise for Switzerland Fly lifestyle furniture furnishings store chain
Nationwide
 
2000
Consolidation
Maus Frères department stores reunited under one logo : MANOR
Nationwide
 
2000
Joint Venture
CARREFOUR hypermarket chain
Nationwide
 
2001
Sale
CITY DISC, ELECTROPLUS, JEANS & Co.
 
2003
Acquisition
AIGLE outdoor/sporting clotheswear and accessories brand and distribution
Worldwide
 
2007
Acquisition
ACCARDA customer and credit card management company
Nationwide
 
2007
Sale
CARREFOUR Switzerland
Switzerland
 
2008
Acquisition
GANT clothing and accessories brand and distribution
Worldwide
 
2011
Acquisition
EBOUTIC, private sales online
Switzerland
 
2012
Sale
FLY Suisse to FLY France
Switzerland
 
2012
Acquisition
LACOSTE SA, elegant sportswear
Worldwide
 
* 1st in Switzerland

Contact

 

Maus Frères SA
6 rue Cornavin
Case postale 1880
CH-1211 GENEVE 1

Tel. +41 (0)22 908 66 00
Email: contact@maus.ch

 

A Career in Retail and Lifestyling with Maus Frères SA.

The possibilities of finding a career niche within the Maus Frères SA group are diverse and wide-ranging. Motivated women and men will find posts suited to their skills and ambitions whether at entry-level or in middle management.

Internal mobility, continuing education, training courses, internships ensure that staff realise their full potential. At Maus Frères SA professional enthusiasm is key to success.

Contact our Human Resource managers for more information on current employment possibilities.


MANOR
 
JUMBO
 
ATHLETICUM
 
PARASHOP
 
LACOSTE
 
AIGLE
 

English text: Lynn Hegi
French text: Sylviane Lachat
Website design: Vincent Jacquier