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Bergzeit: going from a touring portal to international outdoor retailer

B stands for best advice, bounteous product selection. We'll clue you in on what Bergzeit stands for - its core message "Dedication To Outdoor" - from its roots to what's happening today.

Bergzeit – 2016, at a glance:

  • 600 top brands
  • 50,000 outdoor items
  • 500,000 customers
  • Spanning to 23 countries.

It all started with a hobby: mainly mountaineering and mountain biking and a passion to account and pass on any handy tips of a worthy trail. In 1999, long before Bergzeit.co.uk became the well-known Outdoor Shop that it is today, company founder, Klaus Lehner, acquired a ski touring portal with lengthy publications of tours that he, personally had completed. Shortly after, an extension of the portal was created, with digitized maps from Kompass and soon followed with hardwear – the first being an Altimeter and cycle computer named HAC4 from Ciclo – these were initially stored in the attic, which in 2003 expanded to a storage facility and shop in Grosshartpenning, seeing the first of the Bergzeit employees take root. Proving that an enthusiastic passion can be the driving force of an interminable success story!

“Even though “passion” may very well sound like a slogan, I think it has been the key factor to Bergzeit’s success,” says Klaus Lehner. “No matter what I’ve tackled, it’s been done with maximum energy or not at all. Today is no different. Time and time again, I tell myself that I’ll step back & take things a little slower only to be at it full-throttle again shortly after.”

129 employees in four locations

1,000 packages on a daily average are passed over the dispatch workbenches at Bergzeit's central warehouse in Otterfing, Germany. | Photo: Franziska grains
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1,000 packages on a daily average are passed over the dispatch workbenches at Bergzeit’s central warehouse in Otterfing, Germany. | Photo: Franziska Körner

It’s been some time since Klaus Lehner worked on his passion for outdoors alone: 129 employees are now supporting Bergzeit, which has been focusing for more than ten years on high quality clothing and equipment in the domains of mountain sport, outdoor and travel. It has come as somewhat of a surprise to the company’s founder, that Bergzeit has become one of the leading online retailers for all things pertaining to mountains and related activities: “In the early days of starting out, my visions of a business concept  included targeting sales of up to 1.million euros and working from 7am-12pm so that I could take off into the mountains for the rest of the day: somwhere along the way, my plan went skewiff ”, Bergzeit’s CEO says with a wide grin.

In future, Klaus will have more time – as of 1 October 2015, he has stepped down and past the reins over to new Bergzeit CEO Maximilian Hofbauer. An experienced manager and longtime expert in the outdoor industry. This assumes a stately heritage:

 

6200 m² of storage facility at the Otterfing warehouse
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6200 m² of storage facility at the Otterfing warehouse

... including received, dispatch and returns. | Photo: Franziska Körner
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… including received, dispatch and returns. | Photo: Franziska Körner

Currently 50,000 articles are on offer in the bergzeit.co.uk shop with a selection of over 600 outdoor brands from around the world – from A (Arc’teryx) to Z (Zamberlan). Mastering the logistics for approximately 500,000 customers, is the 6200m² ever-expanding central warehouse in Otterfing, Germany. It holds 46 employees that assist in making sure an approximate 1,000 daily shipments, storage and dispatchment of goods are dealt with – in the peak season it can double that! All related Bergzeit online questions, are cared for by the competent Customer Service Team that includes Lucas, Daniela and Mark. They are ready for questions or support on any Bergzeit issues via phone, email or Bergzeit’s chat service. The administration headquarters next door is home to a further 42 colleagues that are just as mountain sport enthusiastic as the rest of the Bergzeit employees. This team includes; product management, marketing, online editorial, IT and accounting.

In the south of Munich and Europe

Founded in 1999, Bergzeit GmbH is at home in Bavaria, just south of Munich. In addition to the Bergzeit.co.uk, which extends to Austria, Switzerland, UK and a further ten countries, there is also the opportunity to visit a Bergzeit store “LIVE” on your way to the foothills of the German Alps. In the 3 stores: Munich, Holzkirchen and Gmund on Tegernsee Lake, a total of 36 mountain-active fanatics, whose interests range from; trekking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing etc, are there to advise you.

With a proper Bike-Opening in April, Bergzeit Outdoor Center in Gmund introduces the new mountain-bike collection. Winter's snow season is equally embraced by all stores with a winter-opening in November.| Photo: Bergzeit
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With a proper Bike-Opening in April, Bergzeit Outdoor Center in Gmund introduces the new mountain-bike collection. Winter’s snow season is equally embraced by all stores with a winter-opening in November.| Photo: Bergzeit

Bergzeit’s Alpin store in Grosshartpennig, awaits it’s customers with a vast 700m² and with an equally vast selection of clothing and equipment, specialising in alpine mountaineering – from expeditions, mountain climbing, rock climbing and skiing to hiking. Having opened its doors in autumn 2010, the Outdoor Center in nearby Gmund,  dominates its 2,000m² retail store in summer with mountain bikes and in general, outdoor, trekking and hiking accessories which in winter include, skis (Freeride). Exciting events and activities can be found regularly in all stores – such as the barefoot trail running day, Bergzeit’s Movie Night or Bergzeit’s Alpine day. Talks given by top athletes such as Benedikt Böhm, Stefan Glowacz and Alex Huber attract numerous visitors to the stores.

Time on the mountain: The Bergzeit team and its dedication to outdoors

That headquarter’s location, along with all three stores are in the immediate vicinity of the Alps is no coincidence: The Bergzeit team spends a lot of time on the mountain itself, in summer most are climbing, mountain biking, hiking and in winter they are to be found skiing, ski touring, snowshoe-hiking or freeriding.

At home: A Bergzeit outing with over 70 of its team members, in the mountains at over 1500 meters isn't that unusual. After all, it's in the mountains where they feel most at home. Photo: Bergzeit
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At home: A Bergzeit outing with over 70 of its team members, in the mountains at over 1500 meters isn’t that unusual. After all, it’s in the mountains where they feel most at home. Photo: Bergzeit

After-work evening ski tours and bike meet-ups, relaxed, friendly relations with colleagues and a headquarter office view toward the German Alps, go hand-in-hand when people come together to work for Bergzeit. The combined expertise and the dedication to outdoor of all Bergzeit employees, can only be of benefit to the customer. Bergzeit, your partner for all mountain and adventure travel the world over.

Franziska Körner

...is most likely ...to be found hiking above the tree lines. She loves extraordinary landscapes and foreign cultures and writes about outdoor and travel-related topics as an editor for Bergzeit. Pfeil All articles by Franziska Körner