Karl Zünd was 27 when he set up in business on his own in 1921. Back then, the status of craftsmanship was very different to what it is today. Even if times were not always easy, the local markets provided enough demand for small firms to survive in the long term. Saddles for horses, upholstered furniture, bedware, leather goods and sports articles were manufactured with passion and perfect craftsmanship. The firm developed and was soon one of the largest in Rebstein, with 10 employees. 30 years after it was founded, there was a change of generations: Mr Zünd Senior continued to manage his enterprise (only the bedware division still exists today) while his sons Karl and Ludwig took over the upholstered furniture division and established their own company, Karl Zünd & Co. They started out at the right time: the crisis years of the Second World War were over, and private households were now investing their money in consumer and investment goods after years of privation.
Up to 250 employees
The company's development was magnificent. 1957 saw the introduction of the Züco brand name, followed two years later by the construction of a second manufacturing facility at Hohenems to serve the Austrian market as well. The 1960s brought high growth rates and the headcount rose to 250. A second cornerstone was built up: homely furniture for elegant hotel lobbies, followed by comfortable sofabeds and functional conference chairs. Ergonomic revolving office chairs were the obvious next step. The 1970s saw further items added to the range as the company established its position on more international markets in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and the Far East. For office furniture, the growth curve was rising sharply, but it was becoming flatter and flatter for upholstered furniture until finally, in the mid-1980s, sales of office chairs outstripped the traditional range of products. A strategic realignment was emerging. In 1988, Karl and Ludwig Zünd - both ..