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DOUGLAS mourns the loss of Jörn Kreke

Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board 02/09/2024

Düsseldorf, 9 February, 2024 – Dr Dr h.c. Jörn Kreke, Honorary Chairman of the DOUGLAS Supervisory Board, has passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83. From 1969 to 2001, Jörn Kreke built DOUGLAS from a perfumery into a leading European beauty retailer, laying the foundation for the success story of today's DOUGLAS Group.

With his entrepreneurial vision and passion for retail and people, Jörn Kreke was one of the defining figures in the retail sector and one of Germany's leading business personalities.

“On behalf of the entire Kreke family, I would like to thank everyone for the great sympathy that has reached us in these hours,” said Dr Henning Kreke, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DOUGLAS. “Working at DOUGLAS, together with the wonderful employees, was not just a job for my father, but a true and personal passion that brought joy to his life every day. The path to success that the company is on today filled him with great pride to the very end.”

“Our thoughts are with the Kreke family, to whom I express my deepest condolences on behalf of the entire company and all employees”, said Sander van der Laan, CEO of the DOUGLAS Group. “Jörn Kreke laid the foundations for the success of DOUGLAS decades ago. For this, he deserves our eternal gratitude. In him, we have lost an outstanding personality, an icon in the retail industry and a very special person.”

“Jörn Kreke has dedicated his life to DOUGLAS and its employees, and his entrepreneurial achievements and life's work will serve as an inspiration to future generations”, said Dr Daniel Pindur, Managing Partner at DOUGLAS’ main shareholder CVC Capital Partners. “He will always be closely associated with the DOUGLAS name and the company's success story.”

Jörn Kreke, born in 1940 in Cologne, began his professional career at Hussel Süßwaren-filialbetrieb AG in 1963 after completing his studies and doctorate in economics and marketing. At the age of 29, he became Chairman of the Management Board in 1969, making him the youngest CEO of a German stock corporation at the time.

Jörn Kreke was the driving force behind the entrance into the perfumery business. Hussel took over DOUGLAS in 1970, paving the way for the growth of the Group: Under his leadership, the very successful development was launched that has made the DOUGLAS Group the leading premium beauty provider in Europe today with more than 1,850 stores, around 18,000 employees and 4.1 billion euros in sales.

After more than three decades as CEO, Jörn Kreke handed over the operational management to his son Henning in 2001 and moved to the Supervisory Board as Chairman. He remained Honorary Chairman after his retirement in 2014.

About the DOUGLAS Group

DOUGLAS is the number one omnichannel premium beauty destination in Europe. The company is inspiring customers to live their own kind of beauty by offering a unique assortment online and in around 1,850 stores. With unparalleled size and access to customers, DOUGLAS is the partner of choice for brands and offers a premium range of selective and exclusive brands as well as own corporate brands. The assortment includes fragrances, color cosmetics, skin care, hair care, accessories as well as beauty services. Strengthening its successful omnichannel positioning while consistently developing superior customer experience is at the heart of the company’s strategy “Let it Bloom – DOUGLAS 2026”. The winning business model is underpinned by DOUGLAS’ omnichannel proposition, leading brands, and data capabilities. In the financial year 2022/23, DOUGLAS generated sales (net) of 4.1 billion euros and employed around 18,000 people across Europe.


Peter Wübben
SVP Group Communications & Sustainability

Tel: +49 211 16847 664