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WERTHEIM, family of German department store owners, originating from Stralsund. In 1876 arthur wertheim established a small dry goods store in Stralsund. His son, george wertheim, introduced new practices, such as fixed prices and low markups, which ensured the store's success and led to the opening of a second store at Rostock. Subsequently George and his three brothers ventured into Berlin, where they concentrated on inexpensive mass consumer goods and soon added two additional stores. The 1905 turnover of the main store reportedly totaled the equivalent of $15 million. The building standing on one of Berlin's main thoroughfares, and designed by Alfred *Messel, became a landmark of the German capital. In 1908 wolff wertheim separated from his brothers to open another department store in Berlin which, however, failed to equal the former achievement. In 1933 the company owned seven stores. After World War ii it became part of the Hermann *Tietz corporation, Hertie, and descendants of the founders retained a considerable interest in the establishment.


J. Hirsch, Das Warenhaus in Westdeutsch-land (1910), passim.

[Edith Hirsch]

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