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Who is behind Douglas? Beauty company in check

We all know the blue curved lettering that was emblazoned almost in every pedestrian zone. Since June 2018, the perfumery chain has been advertising with a new logo, but the name has remained. What does “Douglas” actually stand for? Tikbow clarifies.

Who is behind Douglas?

In fact, the company can look back on a long history: in 1821, the Scottish soapmaker John Sharp Douglas, then 29 years old and having emigrated from Glasgow a year earlier, founded a soap factory in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt warehouse district, where products such as the "Coconutöl Soda Soap" or the "Chinese Heaven Soap" were developed and manufactured. Many of his creations became best sellers – the start of a success story.

Douglas itself was already playing with the rules of globalization at the time. According to his own statement, the recipe for his fragrant products came directly from the imperial soap factory in Beijing. After his death, his sons Thomas and Alexander took over the company and christened it "J.S. Douglas Söhne".

Franchaise in women’s hands

In 1909, a woman took the helm, which was revolutionary for the time. Berta Kolbe, together with her sisters Anna and Maria Carstens, set up the first Douglas stores and established the perfume branch alongside the soap factory. Franchise was born!

Douglas ultimately became a group when it was transferred to the listed company Hussel AG with its chairman Dr. Jörn Kreke, whose family still holds shares in the company. From the early 1970s, the group expanded abroad. The first store beyond the national border opened in 1973 in Austria.

Fresh wind for an old brand

Today, Douglas offers a wide range of products. Creams, fragrances, hair care products, accessories, make-up, and lifestyle articles are all part of the range of products that can be recognized by their perfume-like scent from many meters away. However, the drugstore range caused an uproar in December 2020.

Douglas kept a quarter of its stores open during the Corona lockdown in Germany because the sale of drugstore products was still permitted under the federal decision and the franchise also offered drugstore products. This met with so much criticism that Douglas CEO Tina Müller apologized for the decision just one day later and closed the stores again.