The Company and its History

In 1911, the businessmen Anton Cloppenburg and Paul Schröder teamed up to establish the clothing retailer Peek&Cloppenburg Hamburg in the German city of Hamburg. Inspired by the city’s Hanseatic tradition, the two founders focused on a clear aim right from the start: to establish a long-term basis of trust for and with their customers. They decided to achieve this aim by focusing on providing expert advice, high-quality goods and stores with an elegant and tasteful atmosphere. This successful combination has enabled Peek&Cloppenburg to establish itself as a future-oriented retailer for more than one hundred years.

Two economically and legally independent companies with the name Peek&Cloppenburg based in the German cities of Hamburg and Düsseldorf have existed throughout this period. You can find the locations of Peek&Cloppenburg KG in Hamburg here.


The Entire Story

Join us on a historical journey through time and find out all you need to know about VAN GRAAF – from the founding of our first clothing store right through to our present expansion.

1911 – The company is founded

The history of the corporate group began over one hundred years ago in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany. The Dutch entrepreneur Anton Cloppenburg and his brother-in-law Paul Schröder were the two innovative businessmen behind the company Peek&Cloppenburg.

Two economically and legally independent companies with the name Peek&Cloppenburg based in the German cities of Düsseldorf and Hamburg have existed ever since. You can find the locations of Peek&Cloppenburg KG in Hamburg here.

2001 – VAN GRAAF is founded

The subsidiary company VAN GRAAF was established under the umbrella of Peek&Cloppenburg KG Hamburg in 2001, laying the foundation for yet another successful retail concept. The first VAN GRAAF store was opened in the Polish city of Wrocław on 17th August 2001.

2006-2007 – Further VAN GRAAF stores are opened in Poland

The second VAN GRAAF store was opened in one of Poland's largest shopping centres, the "Manufaktura" in the city of Łódź, on 17th May 2006. Poland welcomed two more VAN GRAAF stores in 2007: first in Warsaw and then in Posen.

2009 – A new international logistics centre

After the old storage facilities in the Allermöhe quarter of Hamburg became too small, the company moved to a new logistics centre covering an area of 35,000 m2 in the town of Reinbek near Hamburg in 2009. All of the stores run by the group of companies are now connected to this warehouse and depot, which boasts state-of-the-art environmentally friendly technology.

2009-2010 – Expansion into four additional countries

The company continued its expansion in Switzerland and Hungary by opening two new VAN GRAAF stores in the town of Spreitenbach near Zurich and in Budapest in 2009. One year later, it opened another two VAN GRAAF stores in Prague in the Czech Republic and in the Austrian town of Vösendorf near Vienna.

2012 – The VANGRAAF.COM online shop is launched in Germany

Peek&Cloppenburg launched the online shop VANGRAAF.COM on the German market in cooperation with its subsidiary VAN GRAAF GmbH in 2012. By doing so, the corporate group successfully established itself as an omni-channel fashion retailer.

2013 – The second store in Hungary is opened

The second VAN GRAAF store in Budapest was opened in March 2013.

2016 – The VANGRAAF.COM online shop is launched in Poland

The online shop was launched on the Polish market in 2016.

2019 – Market entry in Latvia

In early 2019, a VAN GRAAF store opened its doors in the Latvian capital Riga.

2021 - The expansion continues

In 2021, a brand-new VAN GRAAF outlet was built in a beautiful location in Sopot, a resort town in Poland on the Baltic Sea. The Group is planning more openings in the future, in particular in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe.