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  • Roger Yao

European fitness equipment giant brand, KETTLER, comes to a new start

Fitness equipment brand KETTLER

KETTER has been a strong brand in Europe and other market for its outdoor furniture, sport equipment, toys, bicycles, table tennis table, toys...

Here is a summary of important milestone of KETTLER, and its latest news in the market.

After the bankruptcy of KETTLER in Oct, 2019, Trisport AG took over Kettler's brand rights of fitness equipment line for European market since January of 2020, and now it started a new series, called HOI by KETTLER.

1949: On January 15, 1949, the "Heinz-Kettler metal goods factory" started with six employees. Initially, the "Heinz-Kettler metal goods factory" sold aluminum goods such as cookware and cake plates. The first successes came with retail customers such as Karstadt, Kaufhalle and Woolworth...

1952: In 1952 Kettler gave up the household goods. The competition was too fierce and reasonable economic returns could no longer be achieved. But the really promising follow-up production was already in the starting blocks: camping furniture and camping accessories for the tent industry.

1958: The PICCOLO camping chair finally opened the ranks of the "legendary" Kettler products. And the production was up to 300 PICCOLOS per shift in the years up to 1958, the maximum was reached at the end of the 1960s with 18,000 PICCOLOS per day.

1960: "Innovation" was still the motto. Existing products were constantly being improved, and the list of new products was also constantly growing. In particular, the product range in the areas of play equipment, winter sports and household helpers was expanded. The first KETTCAR rolled off the assembly line at the end of 1960 – Heinz Kettler brought the idea for this four-wheeled children's vehicle with him from the USA.

1963: The range of camping and garden furniture developed more and more sophisticated and luxurious. At the beginning of the 1960s, the Relax health bed with its adjustable head and foot sections became a bestseller, and some even used it as a TV chair.

1968: Another product expanded the Kettler range in the 1960s, the bicycle, whose image changed for the better at the time. It was no longer a replacement for those who couldn't afford a car, but gained a reputation as a fitness and sports equipment such as exercise bike, cross trainer, home-gym station, rowing machine, treadmill, mini stepper...

1970: With a rowing machine in 1969/70 the entry into home sports began relatively cautiously. In the two decades that followed, however, the production of fitness equipment products was to grow into the company's most important mainstay.

1974: There was a new global triumph: Heinz Kettler, for years one of the leading manufacturers of table tennis tables, had succeeded in developing the first table tennis table that was unaffected by the weather.

1975: A few years later, the ergometer, which Kettler presented for the first time at the SPOGA in 1975, presented itself even more visually and technically impressive and in the following years - always updated to the current state of technology and design - Kettler's way to market leadership.

1980 - 2005: Until his death in 2005, Heinz Kettler continued to successfully expand the KETTLER company, among other things through internationalization and the founding of sales companies in the largest sales markets in Europe and the USA.

2004 - 2019: KETTLER established its sourcing representative office in Shanghai, China, helping its headquarter to manage its OEM and ODM projects in Asia, mainly for developing new products, quality control, and supply chain management.

2015-2020: The company filed for bankruptcy to avoid an uncontrolled takeover by an investor and the bicycle unit was subsequently sold to ZEG (Zweirad Einkaufs Genossenschaft) in December 2015, and the company exited the bankruptcy proceedings in March 2016. Karin Kettler, the onwer of KETTER, who had mostly retired from the day to day business, died in a traffic accident in March 2017, aged 57. Then, the company filed for bankruptcy again in July 2018, On October 11, 2019, the end of the company was decided, and its production officially ended at the end of January 2020.

2020 ~: The further development of the products and sales strategies according to product areas and global-geographical areas has been carried out separately under the leadership of different entrepreneurial families, some of whom have been in close contact with the KETTLER family for decades, either as major customers or suppliers and who have followed Heinz Kettler's principles of innovation, quality and... Customer proximity also see as their own principles in the further development of the history of KETTLER.

2020: The Swiss company, Trisport AG took over Kettler's brand rights of fitness equipment line for European market in January of 2020 and will continue to sell fitness equipment under the traditional Kettler brand. Trisport had been the Swiss distributor of the brand for more than 30 years and now wants to breathe new life into it. The Trisport Managing Director, Stefan Christen, said on ISPO 2020 in Munich that he will lead Kettler to a new start.

2021: Trisport unveils innovative home fitness brand “HOI by Kettler” . Kettler by Trisport is opening a new chapter in its brand history and product development: Under the name “HOI by Kettler,” an innovative line of fitness equipment for home use was launched in October of 2021. HOI means "Home of innovation" and it is also a Swiss greeting. Meanwhile, Hoi by Kettler app will be developed and connect to fitness equipment to offer  digitized video and audio files, mini workouts, training plans during exercise.


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