Shaped by experience and sustained by vision – that is the essence of GLATZ!
As a family company, we put our heart, soul and know-how into designing and manufacturing sunshades. It is not surprising that GLATZ AG has a 120-yearCompany History - and is one of the leading sunshade manufacturers in Europe and throughout the world.
Our founding fathers' maxim remains our philosophy today: keep your finger on the pulse and be ahead of your time! GLATZ has always been conscious of its role as a pioneer and is still as innovative as it ever was. In 1895, Albert Glatz found a lucrative niche that went on to become a successful business under the leadership of his son, Albert Junior. Later, Dölf Glatz successfully developed technical solutions that found worldwide recognition.
Now in its fourth generation, the company is led by CEO Markus Glatz and has made a name for itself with sunshades and outdoor concepts for homes, gardens, hotels and restaurants – far beyond the borders of Switzerland.
The trained umbrella maker Albert Glatz is still under 25 when he founds his own umbrella shop on 1 April 1895 after working as an assistant in Lyon, Lausanne and Basel. In his workshop, he manufactures and repairs umbrellas, ladies' sunshades and costume parasols. However, success only comes after he marries the proficient umbrella maker Christina Luise Lätsch on 20.08.1898. In 1907, the couple move to the Felsenburg to run the castle's stationery shop.
Albert Junior, the first of the couple's seven children, is born in 1899. After school he learns the trade of an umbrella maker, though he would have preferred to become a mechanic or surveyor. Responsibility for the family business takes priority. His preference for technical matters over fashion would have a clear influence on the company's development in later years.
He takes over the Frauenfeld business with an eye to his forthcoming marriage to Frieda Spahn on 20 May 1926, while his father moves with two daughters to the branch in Steinenvorstadt 51, Basel established in 1923. As early as 1927, the young couple purchases the nearby Friedheim residential and factory building in the castle mill in Frauenfeld. The building offers good premises for the development of the business.
The family has four children: in 1927, Heini-Albert, later a qualified mechanical engineer at ABB and Chairman of the Board at Glatz AG, in 1928, Rosmarie-Lydia, an umbrella maker who later joined the Salvation Army, in 1931 Gustav-Adolf, later Managing Director of Glatz AG and in 1939, Peter-Rudolf, later Operations Manager of Glatz AG and then a councillor in Frauenfeld..
Thinking back to his dream job, Albert Glatz-Spahn develops a surveyor's umbrella and, after other experiments, invents a fully adjustable and foldable gear joint. This joint will also form the basis of the classic ALEXO® garden sunshade, still produced today in 2013. The ALEXO surveyor's umbrellas become the first export items. In cooperation with the surveying equipment manufacturers Kern, Aarau and Wild, Heerbrugg, they are shipped to all the corners of the world in standard or anti-magnetic versions.
From 1933, the Basel sample fair is an important means to demonstrate the advantages of the garden sunshade with the ALEXO joint to consumers and traders over many years. That remains the case for the entire range developed in subsequent years, including the ALEXO surveyor's umbrellas, the ALEXO chair sunshade with ball-and-socket joint, the ALEXO sunscreen, ALEXO roof, PENDALEX free-arm sunshade and the PERGOLA and PALAZZO giant sunshades.
Towards the end of the Second World War from 1939 – 1945, the existing German suppliers are no longer able to deliver. Albert Glatz-Spahn thus makes the costly and risky decision to set up a strut profiling, tempering and processing line at the castle mill, together with manufacturing equipment for other sunshade frame parts. An in-house tool shop is also established. The eldest son Heini Glatz, still in training as a mechanic at Jenni Hydraulikpressen AG, provides crucial support during this set-up phase.
The in-house mechanical department allows special types of sun protection equipment to be developed. One of these is the ALEXO sunscreen especially for balconies, in which a straight panel of fabric with two spring profiles is stretched onto a support pole with an ALEXO gear joint. Patents: Switzerland CH-314,813, Germany DE-1,101,706, United Kingdom GB-764,278.
Marriage to Anne-Marie Hausammann. After meeting Adolf Glatz, she had spent many years working in French-speaking Switzerland and as a secretary at the Federal Insurance Company to prepare for her role at Glatz. For the moment she devoted herself entirely to the family and their three children: Markus (born in 1958), Brigitte (1959) and Yvonne (1966).
The first garden sunshade that hangs on a stand with a side-arm and a ball-and-socket joint and can be operated from below the sunshade roof, steplessly tilted in all directions, fixed and loosened. Patents: CH-367,290, DE-1,160,577, Austria AT-232,213, Belgium BE-588,393, USA US-3,120,238. It took many years of information and demonstrations for this shade principle and its price to become established in the industry. The PENDALEX became a main cost unit for the company and paved the way for international exports.
At the Friedheim site in the castle mill, the former apartments are converted into offices or production and storage facilities. The company decides to concentrate entirely on the garden sunshade business.
The premises at the castle mill site become too cramped, hindering efficient processes and increases in production capacity. This challenge is overcome with the move to the newly built factory. The high ceilings of the shed hall also make it possible to handle larger products.
The ALBERT GLATZ company becomes GLATZ AG with share capital of CHF 700,000. Chairman of the Board of Directors: Albert Glatz-Spahn, Delegate of the Board of Directors: Gustav Adolf (Dölf) Glatz-Hausammann. Other members of the Board of Directors: Heini Glatz-Fritzsche, Peter Rudolf Glatz-Rutishauser, Walter Zurbuchen.
Patent application for counter-rotation of the slide and crown for easy operation, wide roof support and closing height above tables. The principle is also included in the later models CASTELLO, FORTERO and FORTINO. Switzerland CH543253, Germany DE2353967, Italy IT999115, France FR2205292.
1983: RUSTICALEX with free arm extendable in several stages and turnable base adjustable through 360°. Germany DE3339163, Austria AT393348, Italy IT1176669, USA US4586525. 1995: SUNWING Tilting of the sunshade roof by bilateral rotation of the free arm.
After studying at the University of St. Gallen and working in finance, he decides to join Glatz AG, where he takes charge of sales and finance. In 1993 he takes over the management of Glatz AG from his father, Gustav Adolf (Dölf) Glatz.
1981 – warehouse, 1985 – office expansion, 1989 – Hummel production hall.
30-year anniversary participation in SPOGA, Cologne. Joint ventures in USA, Canada and China, in-house distribution in Germany and Austria, Benelux, agencies in France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom.
The launch of the PALAZZO® Noblesse (2013), PALAZZO® Royal (2014) and PALAZZO® Style (2015) marks the start of a new era in giant sunshades. Featuring many attractive details, the range meets every requirement in terms of function and design. Remote-controlled opening and closing as well as optional heating and illumination are just a few of its many extras.
Since 2013 Glatz, which has its head office in Switzerland, has had a French subsidiary based in Lyon: GLATZ France, which is dedicated to the French market and its business relations with its partners. It has an extensive range of high-quality parasols combining cutting-edge technology, robustness and attention to detail in order to meet the demand among members of the public as well as hotels and restaurants for ways to protect and furnish outdoor terraces.
Even today, our development and design team is working on the sunshade and garden sunshade models of the future. Prepare to be surprised as you look forward to the new shade solutions from Glatz.