1980 -1989: founding of the MHK
Successful from the start
The medium-sized specialist retailers contribute a great deal to the diversity of offers and services. As the owner of a kitchen studio, Hans Strothoff recognised this importance at an early stage – and he had a clear vision of how this diversity of offers and services can be safeguarded and the medium-sized specialist trade strengthened competitively: with the establishment of a purchasing association. And so, in 1980, the then 30-year-old launched the musterhaus küchen association on Frankfurt’s Grosser Friedberger Strasse. Its success was all the proof the founder needed. Just two years later, the association had more than 100 members from the kitchen trade.
Support for the trade
In addition to first-class purchasing conditions, Hans Strothoff was committed to services from the very beginning. As well as the info-text advertising agency, which was intended to accelerate the development of the musterhaus küchen Fachgeschäft umbrella brand, he founded his own centralised payment processor in 1984 – to this day a mainstay of the group. Industrie- und Handelstreuhand GmbH regulates all sales between our members and the listed suppliers. It also assumes without restriction the del credit liability of the members towards the suppliers.
CARAT: Kitchen planning
on the computer
At the end of the 1980s, computer planning arrived in the kitchen market. Hans Strothoff recognised the enormous potential that this would have for specialist retailers. With the establishment of CARAT in 1989, the partners of the musterhaus küchen association now had a software company, which quickly developed into the market leader. Today, the kitchen planning software of the same name is an integral part of the everyday business of a kitchen studio. This is because it no longer merely assists the kitchen professional in planning, but also throughout the entire sales process.
Foundation of further associations for the kitchen industry
While musterhaus küchen become ever more renowned, in 1989 a second association was formed: the KüchenLiga. It was conceived to strengthen specialist shops operating in public under their own name by providing first-class purchasing conditions and services.
As a result, the musterhaus küchen association became the MHK network group. Since 1989, the letters MHK that had previously stood for musterhaus küchen have stood for Marketing Handel Kooperation (Marketing Trade Cooperation).