20 years of Battle-Merchant - Celebrating History
While the digital world is all ones and zeros, Battle-Merchant seems to be all twos and zeros. The founding year, then still under the name Mittelalterwaffen.com, is 2002, so it is no coincidence that 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the company. However, the beginning of Battle-Merchant goes back to the 1990s, when the brothers Helge and Hendrik Pahl organised Viking parties with friends and enriched them with home-made mead. Helge completed an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and took part in countless medieval markets as a "trading" blacksmith with Spilwut, Fogelvrei and others, and the first mail-order business "Ars Nordica", which was initially still "offline" with self-copied catalogues.
|Helge Pahl, early medieval market||Hendrik und Helge Pahl, Viking party|
With the establishment of the first online shop, Battle-Merchant was one of the pioneers in the field of living history. The slogan "We deliver history" reflected the company's philosophy from the very beginning, which led to success and enabled steady growth. In order to ensure quick delivery, the warehouse was successively expanded. While in the beginning private flats had to serve as warehouse and office, the company moved into rooms of the former ÜAZ building in Itzehoe in 2003. Here the young company was able to develop splendidly, because there was plenty of space, which was rented step by step. The first employees were hired. In the open-plan office they all sat together like Knights of the Round Table and continued to work successfully on the growth of the company, so that after a few years it also became too cramped in Itzehoe. With an English-language online shop and the distribution of the products as wholesalers, turnover and space requirements grew. Larger purchase quantities meant better purchasing conditions, which were passed on directly to the customers. This in turn made the former niche hobby of "reenactment" affordable for many enthusiasts. The community grew. The import shipments became larger and larger. However, whole container shipments did not fit into the backyard of the ÜAZ building.
|Entrance office ÜAZ Itzehoe||First store in Wacken|
So in 2007, they moved to the world's loudest village - Wacken. Here, in the still almost virgin industrial estate, a 600-square-metre stock and office wing stood empty. A shop was separated and this storage space would surely suffice for a long time, or so they thought. This was an entrepreneurial misjudgement and in 2011, planning began for another stock, new offices and a loading ramp. The new building was completed in 2014. With the new space, the sales range expanded. Many new products from the areas of live-action role-playing, archery and knives were added. Since the founding of the company, the focus has been on the development of own products and product lines - in addition to the distribution of third-party products. Thus, many articles were developed under the own brand "Battle-Merchant", "Ulfberth" and as the youngest project "Schnitzel". Under the latter brand, a high-quality children's carving knife series was created. In 2016, Battle-Merchant took over the building of the former super market Edeka. In the rear part, the side project "Wacken Brewery" was realised and the production of alcoholic beverages, which was already in operation in the 90s, was professionally resumed. In the front part, the extensive assortment of the medieval shop extends over 400 square metres. Here, maidens, knights and children can dress up, equip and outfit themselves authentically.
|Stock with extension in Wacken||Current store in Wacken|
With over 30 employees, Battle-Merchant is now one of the largest employers in Wacken. More than 10,000 different products are masterfully handled by the professional team and shipped all over the world. Around 1,500 dealers and over 100,000 end customers have been and are supplied from the northern German province.
A reason to raise our drinking horns, toast all those involved with thanks and celebrate the anniversary year with many activities: Skål!