In 1931, a 25-year-old German entrepreneur named Eugen Hollaender came to Apeldoorn. He started his own company in the production and sales of razors: the ‘Apeldoornse Messenfabriek’ (knife factory), or Amefa for short. In the 1940s and 1950s, the focus shifted to what Amefa to this day still produces worldwide: cutlery and other kitchen utensils.
Much has changed at Amefa since then, but it continues to be an Apeldoorns family business, currently led by third generation Hollaenders. What is unique is that Apeldoorn has a street named after the founder Eugen Hollaender in the Amefa Quarter, the original location from 1931 that now bears the company’s name.
Two hundred professionals work at Amefa, 30 of which are based in the main office in Apeldoorn. The largest Amefa branch, with 80 professionals, is located in France. In 2005, the French cutlery and pan manufacturer Couzon/Cuisinox was taken over and became a part of Amefa. Other (sales) offices are situated in the UK, China (2), Hong Kong, Germany, Poland and since 2017 the USA, the result of organic growth or take-overs.
About 75% of the assortment consists of cutlery (in various local and international brands) with appropriate related items such as other tabletop products (crockery and glassware) and kitchen utensils (such as kitchen knives and pans). For various Amefa customers it is important to have a complete range for table and kitchenware products. The cutlery is mostly designed in-house, and the production takes place across the globe. Amefa’s customers can be found all over the world as well. Although the market share in the Netherlands is significant, it is still only a relatively small 10% of the total group revenue; most of the products are sold in Europe. The USA and Asia are up-and-coming markets where Amefa is looking to expand.
The focus is on increasing direct sales to consumers through online retail channels. About 2/3 of the annual revenue is generated here; the remaining 1/3 comes from the food service sector and the institutional market. The cutlery, table accessories, kitchen knives and pans are sold under the name Amefa and the brands Richardson Sheffield, Cuisinox, Sabatier Trompette and Lou Laguiole. Deliveries of customer brands are also made to national and international retailers, hotel chains, shipping companies, and airlines.
The strategy for the coming years is to densify the market in countries with offices or which is being exported to. In the most crucial market regions, the aim is always to have a local presence through partners or company offices to meet local needs. For new markets, the business works closely with distributors and sometimes directly with larger retailers. These partnerships vary per distribution channel and per country.
Export countries: Amefa delivers to almost 70 countries across the globe, with regular deliveries in 40 countries.