In 1841, the brothers Clemens and August founded the textile shop C&A, which sold, unusually for that time, ready made clothes. The two brothers, peddlers originally from the small village Mettingen in Westphalia traveled each year to Friesland to sell their textiles to the farmers. In 1861, they stocked their goods in a warehouse in Sneek. This small town in the north of the Netherlands became the location of their first store. A branch was opened in Leeuwarden, and in 1910 there were ten stores in the Netherlands. In 1911 the company opened the first German store in Berlin and today there are more than 400 stores in Germany. In 1922 the company started a store in Great Britain. Today C&A and other related companies are located in 16 countries throughout the world. These companies are linked through the COFRA group, based in Zug, Switzerland. The company closed its stores in the United Kingdom and Denmark in 2000. Recently, many new countries have been entered in Eastern Europe and the company has also opened stores in China. More recently, the company has focused its efforts on real estate and financial services. C&A Online launched in Germany in 2008.
For a period of time Eastern Mountain Sports, Steinbach, Ohrbach's, Maurices, Miller's Outpost and others were owned through the American Retail Group. In the 1980s and 1990s, they owned the Comark group in Canada, which included Bretton's department stores, Clark Shoes and Collacut luggage stores. The Canadian operations were sold in 2005 to KarpReilly, LLC of Greenwich, CT.
From 1988 to 2011 Mother Theresa Brenninkmeijer was the prioress, later abbess of a convent in Denmark.
- http://www.c-and-a.com/uk/en/corporate/company/about-us/history/ C&A History
- Shop is on the right
- Yahoo company profile of American Retail Group
- The Globe and Mail, "Meet the Green Family", 10 September 2008, p.B1
- Hvad skete der egentlig på Sostrup Kloster? (Danish)