Gerriets GmbH - specialist for stage equipment and event projects

Gerriets is an expanding company with subsidiaries and sales partners in 19 countries. Since the company was founded in 1946, Gerriets has developed into a specialist for stage and event equipment.

The product portfolio has been constantly expanded and further developed according to customer requirements. It covers all areas: in-house production of curtains, foils and backdrops, delivery of stock items even in oversized widths, horizontal fabrics, decorative fabrics, stage velour, effect materials, stage technology such as tension and rail systems as well as regular new product developments.

2016: 70th anniversary of the company

In 2016, we look back on the 70-year history of our family business. Since the company was founded in 1946, Gerriets has developed into a globally sought-after specialist for stage equipment and event projects. Three generations have characterised the Gerriets family business to this day. Each generation has developed its own business focus and contributed to the growth and success of the company with great commitment.

The founder Hans Gerriets was the textile manufacturer in the post-war period, his son Walter Gerriets was the specialised stage outfitter who drove internationalisation forward, and his grandson Hannes Gerriets is the family technician who steers the stage trade in the digital age.

2015: Gerriets continues to grow

Gerriets continues to grow rapidly. The production facility in Volgelsheim reaches its capacity limit and we have been planning an extension since 2015. In order to integrate state-of-the-art production techniques, a 2,000 m² hall with a 14 metre high tower is being built. This will enable the processing of curtains and projection surfaces under stage conditions.

The workforce in Volgelsheim has grown from 20 to 90, and the high volume of orders requires more efficient utilisation of space. The new hall is crucial for optimising production processes. The planned tower with scaffolding and rail construction facilitates the perfect hanging of projection surfaces, curtains and special fabrics, which improves post-processing in production.

2008: Specialisation in large-scale projects

Mega events characterise the 21st century. The demand for large-scale projects is increasing worldwide. Gerriets GmbH has been involved right from the start. 'MEGA' has always been at the top of their agenda - MEGASCREENS, mega curtains and mega rail systems.

Specialising in large-scale projects also requires more complex project planning - and more space for the project department. Following the remodelling of the parent company, the project department moves from Volgelsheim to Umkirch and drives the mega business forward.

2007: Construction of the new logistics centre and high-bay warehouse

Lack of space has been our constant companion throughout the company's decades-long history. The solution in 2007 is the construction of a new logistics centre and high-bay warehouse in Umkirch. State-of-the-art logistics software and over 3,500 square metres of floor space provide a remedy and effective work processes.

2002: Hannes Gerriets and Bernd Baumeister join the management team

The two join the management team and take the helm for their areas of specialisation. Hannes Gerriets focusses on technology, research and development, while his brother-in-law Bernd Baumeister takes over responsibility for finance, controlling, personnel and administration at Gerriets GmbH.

Under their leadership, the company grows rapidly and establishes itself as a global player in theatre and event management. The founding tradition is successfully continued, with managing directors, project managers and employees responding to customer requirements. Internal processes are aligned accordingly: Specialisation in major projects and expansion of the technical division.

1992-2001: Gerriets expands worldwide

Further subsidiaries and sales partnerships are established worldwide. Gerriets now has branches in Great Britain, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands and the USA.

1990-1992: Large new production areas are built in Volgelsheim

After two years of construction, Gerriets moves into the new production facility in Volgelsheim just over the French border. The entire production area for the sewing workshop, the film welding shop and the metal workshops covers 7,500 m².

The plant in Volgelsheim starts with a total of 20 employees in three departments: Sewing workshop, welding workshop and project department. At the same time, the subsidiary SARL starts work for the French market.

1988: Construction of a new administrative wing in Umkirch

1986: Foundation of GGB, Gerriets Great Britain in London

1985: Acquisition of own looms for fabrics up to 12.45 m wide

1980: Foundation of the first foreign subsidiary Gerriets International in Allentown, USA

Gerriets goes global - in 1980, the first foreign subsidiary 'Gerriets International' is founded in Allentown, USA.

1970: Move from Freiburg to Umkirch

Gerriets' rapidly growing business exceeds the capacity of the Freiburg headquarters. Alternative premises of a suitable size are not available in Freiburg. The new headquarters of Gerriets GmbH is built in Umkirch near Freiburg and moved into in 1970.

1965: Gerriets develops special films

The film era begins in the mid-sixties. Gerriets initially develops the REVUE film. Demand increases rapidly. A film welding machine is invented and built especially for Gerriets. An enquiry for film material comes from Paris from the famous Paris Opera. Their demand leads to the further development of REVUE film. The OPERA® film, which is still well-known and popular today, is created.

1961: Walter and Johanna Gerriets become partners

After the death of Hans Gerriets, his wife Johanna and his son Walter become shareholders of Gerriets GmbH.

1957-1959: Increasing demand for ready-made goods

Orders for stage textiles increase continuously. At the same time, the demand for ready-made curtains increases. Equipment managers increasingly want the complete curtain package - from project measurements to the assembled stage curtain.

For Gerriets, this is the starting signal for a further specialisation - the production of theatre equipment. The company immediately starts looking for its own cutters, seamstresses and fitters.

Until the end of the 1950s, the product portfolio consisted almost exclusively of flame-retardant stage textiles. Plastic films were only used for decorative purposes

1955: Walter Gerriets pushes ahead with specialisation in theatre supplies

In the mid-fifties, culture and theatre are increasingly finding their way back into the budgets of cities and municipalities. The demand for flame-retardant textiles is particularly high.

Walter Gerriets, the son of company founder Hans, travelled through the Baden region to present the Gerriets product portfolio to technical directors and equipment managers. He always carries a folding rule under his arm so that he can lend a hand straight away - and a textile collection. It presents the decision-makers with a clear and tangible overview of the most common materials for stage requirements.

1949: Reconstruction of the Freiburg theatre under the construction management of Hans Gerriets

The reconstruction period is in full swing. Hans Gerriets fights on two fronts - as site manager, he is responsible for the reconstruction of the Freiburg theatre. At the same time, he is pushing ahead with his textile business.

1946: Foundation of the textile wholesaler Hans Gerriets in Freiburg

In the post-war period, the demand for textiles of all kinds is particularly high. Hans Gerriets, as an experienced textile manufacturer, has a feel for this. As early as April 1946, Hans Gerriets founded his textile wholesale business.

In 1946, the cityscape of Freiburg is characterised by ruins. The most basic necessities of life are lacking everywhere. The demand for textiles was particularly high at the time. Hospitals reported a great need, clothing for the coming winter and household textiles were in short supply everywhere.

Hans Gerriets seizes the opportunity to set up his own business in the textile industry again. He acquired his knowledge and experience as a young man in Riga as the managing director of a weaving mill.