STARK Group 125 years and still going strong

125 years ago, two local timber yards in Aarhus, Denmark, created the company Aarhus Trælasthandel A/S. Today, the company is named STARK Group and is not just one of Denmark’s oldest but also largest companies. 

125 years ago, on 23 April 1896, two local timber yards Jørgensen & Stilling and Petersen & Matzen, merged under the name: Aarhus Trælasthandel A/S. The rest is history, as they say. 125 years have gone by and Aarhus Trælasthandel is today named STARK Group; consists of 10,000 employees in more than 420 branches in Germany, Denmark, Greenland, Sweden, Finland and Norway with a revenue of approx. EUR 4,1 billion. STARK Group has grown into one of Northern Europe's leading distributors of heavy building materials, insights, product knowledge and sound advice to the entire construction industry.

Back in 1896, the thought of benefitting from economies of scale, providing better service and more competitive prices became the starting point to the now 125-year long journey. This way of thinking has, during the years, driven and shaped the company into where it is today. Today, STARK Group still builds upon the same fundamental idea: Products and materials are sourced in large quantities, broken down into smaller brackets and made available to the builders at the right prices - exactly where, when and how they need it. 

”STARK Group has throughout the years delivered building materials, services and advice to the construction industry. We build our future by helping others build theirs; we have done it for 125 and will continue to do so. In 1896, the mantra for Aarhus Trælasthandel was "to serve honest, fast and at the lowest prices of the time." A common thread is running from the far-sighted founders to the positive culture that characterises STARK Group today. Then, as now, values such as decency, passion and pride have shaped our company into where it is today: A market leader in the industry – created by the most dedicated employees and loyal customers,” says Søren P. Olesen, CEO of STARK Group.

In recent years, STARK Group has become one of Denmark’s 25 largest companies through acquisitions and organic growth. Today the company has market-leading positions nationally or regionally in all operating markets. Although STARK Group has increased its product range and markets several times since its beginning, it is still the passion for quality and pride in creating value for the customers that drives the Group.

“It is a remarkable journey that our company has been on; 125 years and STARK Group stands stronger than ever. We continuously increase the number of loyal customers because we manage to increase customer satisfaction with our product portfolio, superior logistics, services and sound advice in all our markets and because our employee engagement level is at the top. At the same time, we constantly try to live up to our responsibilities as a market leader in the construction industry – an example is our focus on sustainability. We are leading the way in our industry by, for example, opening the first sustainable building materials branch in Denmark, having a large selection of sustainable building materials, and being part of several national and international sustainable initiatives. The goal is to make it easier for craftsmen to build sustainably - for the benefit of themselves and society in general, ”says CEO of STARK Group Søren P. Olesen.

Kaspar Bach Habersaat