Die Alsterhaus Historie



Hamburg Jungfernstieg 1901



Warenhaus Hermann Tietz 1930 (später Alsterhaus)



Fassade Alsterhaus 2006

Our History

It is quite possible that the Hamburg Tietz branch should thank businessman founder Oscar Tietz for not wanting to be personally robbed when buying fresh coffee for his food departments - which brought him to Hamburg to stay. He loved this lively and elegant Hanseatic city and, on 1st March 1897, he opened the first Hamburg Tietz Branch on Großen Burstah 12-14 in an old canal house. Up until then, Hamburg had never seen such a modern, well-equipped commercial building with such a wide range of goods and exclusive lighting. The city's inhabitants fell in love with the 'exquisite French hats', which Tietz had purchased himself in Paris, the creations of the 'Costume Department' - made-to-measure of course - or accessories such as pleureuse (ostrich feather trimming for ladies' hats), silk fans and parasols. The department store along Großen Burstah stocked an amazingly extensive list of products, from household goods to books and from furniture and oriental carpets to food. In the meantime, Jungfernstieg had become Hamburg's most popular 'promenade mile' - and Tietz did not hesitate for a minute to set himself up at this top address just at this perfect time. He acquired Scholvins Passage with two rows of houses, including the adjoining 'Zum Kronprinzen' Hotel, which was the biggest property purchase that Hamburg had ever known, covering an area of 5,200sqm.

On the 24th April 1912, the 'Waarenhaus Hermann Tietz', later renamed Alsterhaus, opened its doors for the first time. The range of items in this new department store was accordingly increased and customer services were constantly improving. There was a snack bar, a writing room and even a reading area for the clientele. The large food department - stocked with fresh meat, freshwater and sea fish, as well as fruit and delicacies from all over the world was a complete novelty for the citizens of Hamburg. Alsterhaus quickly became a Hamburg institution.

The store survived both World Wars almost undamaged. However, the legendary glass dome over the quadrangle became a victim of the Zeitgeist of post-war architecture. On 24th April 1987, Alsterhaus celebrated its 75th birthday and this was regally marked by a visit from Prince Charles and Princess Diana that autumn. In 1994, Karstadt AG took over the management of Alsterhaus and decided in June 2003 to renovate and restructure the distinguished old department store. With building work recently completed in the beauty and accessories departments, Alsterhaus now breathtakingly combines traditional architecture with modern interior design and provides visitors with a unique shopping experience and top international luxury designs.

1st March 1897

Opening of the first Hamburg Tietz Branch on Großen Burstah 12-14, in an old canal house - a modern, well-equipped commercial building with a wide range of goods and exclusive lighting.

24th April 1912

Opening of the 'Hermann Tietz Department Store' on Jungfernstieg 16-20, one of Hamburg's most popular 'promenade mile'.


Refurbishment, restructuring and renaming of the company as Alsterhaus.


Takeover of Alsterhaus by Hertie. The company's owner Georg Karg bases himself at the Alsterhaus to coordinate the rebuilding of the Hertie Company.

until 1961

Alsterhaus remains Hertie's headquarters.


Acquisition of Dyckhoffhaus and expansion of 5,200sqm retail space to 19,000sqm at a cost of DM 40 million.


Complete refurbishment of Alsterhaus over ten-month period. Cost: DM 50 million.

24th April 1987

75th anniversary of Alsterhaus with a visit from HRH Prince Charles and Princess Diana.


Takeover of Hertie by Karstadt AG.

June 2003

Decision to rebuild and restructure Alsterhaus.


Work finishes on Alsterhaus and the reopening is celebrated in style. Alsterhaus displays its international designers and trendy, innovative brands.

February 2006

Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH amalgamates its most prestigious department stores under the name Premium Group.


The beauty department on the Ground Floor is redesigned in the luxurious style of the legendary flagship department store KaDeWe.


Opening on the Ground Floor of the new accessories department featuring international designer brands.

September 2010

Since September 2010, Nicolas Berggruen takes over Karstadt Department Store (Karstadt GmbH.) as an investor.


Starting in January 2014 Signa Holding GmbH assumes the majority of Karstadt Premium GmbH.


Since October 2014, the Karstadt Premium GmbH companies have been operating under the name "The KaDeWe Group" as part of SIGNA Retail GmbH.


Entry of the Central Group / La Rinascente as a strategic partner of the KaDeWe Group (with 50.1 percent).


The opening of the new Accessories Hall at Alsterhaus marks the successful completion of the first stage of the multi-year rebuilding phase. For the first time the Alsterhaus presents international luxury brands.