If there is any landmark that symbolizes how far the Wissmann Holdings Group has come, its new industrial center at Bar-Lev Park in Western Galilee would at once earn that distinction.
Inaugurated in December 2018, the stunning facility sits on 1.2 hectares (an estimated three acres), of which 7,700 sqm is built up. It represents a total investment of USD10 million.
The journey of the Wissmann Holdings Group and that of the State of Israel are parallel narratives enduringly intertwined. It is the familiar immigrant experience set against the struggle of a young nation keen to be recognized and take its place on the world political stage.
In 1932, Leo Wissmann, an artist, carpenter and staunch Zionist, and his wife Yehudit immigrated from Germany to Israel to begin a new life. Starting with a humble workshop in Jerusalem, the couple turned out quality furniture that pleased discerning customers, including public figures and prestigious institutions.
The Wissmans’ reputation was sealed when they landed the contract to furnish the home of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, which led to work on a number of the residences of the country’s early statesmen and lofty establishments such as the President’s Residence, Hebrew University, Mormon University, Israel Museum, Hadassah and Shaare Zedek hospitals and the King David, Hilton and Four Seasons hotels. The Wissmanns also won important projects in Egypt, Iran, Mauritius and Africa.
The couple’s two sons Arie and Nachum were the natural heirs to their parents’ industry. Arie, the current Chairman of the Board, trained in Denmark to study the furniture industry, while Nachum, who is President, went to Germany to specialize in interior design. The foreign experience – coupled with their father’s vast knowledge and familiarity with the industry – provided a superb classroom that instilled valuable lessons, which have contributed to the company’s long-running success.
Guided by the vision “to see at least every home in Israel with furniture from the Group” and “to break out globally in new markets,” three generations of Wissmanns, are now maintaining the legacy of Leo and Yehudit Wissmann, with the help of a team of 150 employees. Their unflinching policy: “Value for money with no compromise on quality” and “Speedy delivery.” Israel takes up 80 percent of their sales, while the remaining 20 percent are from abroad.
Age groups between 35 and 65, who live in Israel’s kibbutzims, towns and villages, form the company’s main target market. The collections, featuring contemporary furniture imported from 16 countries around the world, are distributed wholesale to various strategically located furniture stores across Israel. The range consists of dining tables, chairs, wall systems, armchairs, seating systems and an assortment of furnishings.
The brands, carried by the Wissmann Holdings Group, reflect a committment to serve and adapt to customers’ varying needs.
Shomrat Hazorea was born out of many years of serving the kibbutz area. Combining Jewish labor with European expertise in wood, the chain has 11 showrooms throughout the country, which provide furniture solutions for all parts of the house. service. It specializes in turning out functional furniture for institutions and businesses such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, offices, hostels and boarding schools.
Ein Harod Furniture, which has been making furniture for the young since 1920, was taken over by Wissmann in later years. Beds, desks and closets to suit a growing clientele’s needs are found in 30 stores around Israel.
Miskal, set up in the 1970s, is the go-to store for parents who want nothing but the best for their bundle of joy. The collections are approved by the Israel Standards Institute and have passed exacting European standards.
Net Collection is the company’s e-commerce platform, which allows online purchases from Shomrat Hazorea, proof that Wissmann has enthusiastically stepped into the digital age.
With a height of 14 metres, the new Wissmann industrial hub is capable of holding 300 containers that will support the entire range of brands as well as the stock sold through the Net Collection e-commerce site. According to Wissmann chairman, Ari Wissmann, it is not only the most advanced and largest facility of its kind in Israel and the Middle East, but the only one hosting furniture for all areas of the home in addition to office and institutional furniture.
To serve the needs of the various companies under Wissman Group Holdings “in the most current and professional manner,” as well as with an eye on future expansion and development – especially in the e-commerce arena – was the rationale for the center’s genesis, according to Wissmann. Providing infrastructure that could easily adapt to ever changing modalities in logistics and operations was another reason for the sizeable investment, he adds.
With a center featuring innovative design and management software, state of the art equipment and an empowered workforce, the Wissmann Group steps boldly into the future, showing that same spirit of enterprise its founders pioneered and proclaimed all those years ago.