Meinl

   One of the most famous names in the history of business in Austria, the Meinl grocery and supermarket chain was run by family members from its founding in 1862 by Julius Meinl Sr. (1824–1914) in Vienna. Meinl’s origins were in Bohemia, where his immediate forebears were bakers.
   At first specializing in processing and selling coffee, Meinl quickly expanded his offerings to other specialty items such as tea and imported fruit. Early success, the result in part of cleverly targeted advertising, encouraged Meinl to open other branches throughout the Dual Monarchy. By 1909, the Meinl name was on 48 such stores. The firm opened its own storage and production facilities in Vienna at about the same time; the Meinl enterprise took care of its own transportation as well.
   During World War I, Julius Meinl Jr. (1869–1944) worked actively to withdraw the Habsburg Empire from the conflict. In 1915, he founded the Meinl Group, which was close to influential politicians, particularly those around the last Habsburg ruler, Charles I. Unlike many businesses in Austria, the Meinl chain survived the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy brilliantly. Julius Meinl Jr. expanded his operations in east central Europe to the successor states, particularly Czechoslovakia and Hungary. To supply these outlets, he built more factories locally. A man of decidedly progressive leanings, he introduced the five-day work week for his employees in 1931. The communist regimes of east central Europe nationalized the Meinl holdings after World War II. The firm reacquired much of its former property in the region following the demise of these governments after 1989. By 1998, there were around 200 Meinl stores in Hungary, 100 in the Czech Republic, and 7 in Poland, all of which were initially successful. The Meinl firm also opened its own bank and brokerage service and invested heavily in real estate. The total worth of the family’s capital in 1998 was estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,200 million.
   The firm, however, did not survive for long. It soon closed an unprofitable discount operation. The European retail grocery market was becoming increasingly competitive as large holding conglomerates such as Rewe (Revisionsverband der Westkauf-Genossenschaften) aggressively moved to acquire a large share of the Austrian grocery business. In 1998 the Meinl management, now in the hands of Julius Meinl V (1959–), sold most of the retailing branch to Rewe. By 2005, what remained of Meinl retail operations in east central Europe could no longer compete with such giant chains as Carrefour and Ahold. The firm got out of the grocery business altogether, concentrating on the investment operations of the Meinl bank and production of coffee, tea, and preserves under the Meinl label.
   See also Economy.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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  • Meinl — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Julius Meinl I. (1824–1914), österreichischer Geschäftsmann Julius Meinl II. (1869–1944), österreichischer Unternehmer Julius Meinl III. (1903–1991), österreichischer Unternehmer Julius Meinl IV.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Meinl — puede referirse a: Compañías: Julius Meinl International, una distrubuidora de café, comida gourmet y otros abarrotes, además de operar supermercados y cafés en Viena. Meinl Bank, un banco privado de Austria; (de) (alemán). Meinl Weston un… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Meinl — may refer to: Companies: Julius Meinl International, a manufacturer and retailer of coffee, gourmet foods and other grocery products, and operator of supermarkets and cafés, based in Vienna; named after Julius Meinls (see below) Meinl Weston, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Meinl — Meinl,   eigentlich Julius Meinl AG,Handelsunternehmen der Nahrungs und Genussmittelbranche, gegründet 1862; Sitz: Wien. Die Meinl Gruppe besteht heute aus einer Marmeladenfabrik, einem Gourmetgeschäft und der Meinl Bank in Wien, dem Meinl… …   Universal-Lexikon

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