Dirk Rossmann

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Dirk Rossmann
Dirk Roßmann Portrait.jpg
Dirk Roßmann in 2014
Born7th September 1946
Hannover, Germany
ResidenceLower Saxony, Germany
OccupationFounder, Rossmann
Net worth$2.6 billion (January 2018)[1]

Dirk Rossmann (born 7th September 1946 in Hanover) is a German entrepreneur. He is founder and general manager of the family-owned drugstore chain Rossmann (Dirk Rossmann GmbH), based in Burgwedel near Hanover.

In 1972, he established the first self-service store for drugstore goods in Germany. Therefore, he is known as inventor and pioneer of drugstores.[2]

In 2017, his company has 2.110 stores and 32.000 employees in Germany. That makes Rossmann the second largest German drugstore chain. Furthermore, Rossmann is present in East and South-East Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Albania, Turkey, Kosovo).

The company name „Rossmann“ does not conform to his family name „Roßmann“. In the past, a capitalization of the letter „ß” was possible with only a few fonts. Also, the letter is usually not known abroad.

Early life[edit]

Dirk Roßmann’s family, Bernhard Roßmann (1910–1958) and his wife Hilde, née Wilkens[3], ran a small drugstore on the outskirts of Hanover in the second generation. After the early death of Bernhard Roßmann, his mother sold a lot of things to save the store. „We were destitute and lived in poor conditions“, Dirk Roßmann said.[4] At the age of twelve, he earned his first money by selling drugstore goods ten percent cheaper.

After secondary school and his druggery teachings, Dirk Roßmann started to work at the parental drugstore.[5] Some months before the announced repeal of price fixing for drugstore goods, on 17th March 1972, he opened the „market for drugstore goods” in Hanover at the age of 25. It existed until April 2010 in Jakobistraße, a side street of Lister Meile at Lister Platz.[6] The idea of a discount store for drugstore goods was of great interest. For the opening day, Dirk Roßmann had expected a revenue of 2.000 to 3.000 DM. In fact, there were 20.000 DM in the cash register at the end of the day.[7] The small store with a sales area of 200 m² was the first self-service drugstore in Germany. Ten years after the establishment, Dirk Roßmann already had 100 stores in North Germany.[8]


Rossmann store, Bremen, Germany

In 1972, he founded Rossmann, at the age of 25.[1]

In June 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$2.8 billion.[1]

Today, in 2018, the company is the number two of the German drugstore chains. Rossmann has 2.110 stores all over Germany (status as of 2017) and employes 32.000 people in this country. In the 1990s, the company expanded into East Europe. Europe-wide, Rossmann has 3.790 stores and 54.500 employees. Most recently, Rossmann generated a turnover of 6.4 billion Euro (+ 4.5 per cent) in Germany. Across the group, the turnover increased to 9 billion Euro.[9]

In the 1980s, Dirk Roßmann sold 40 per cent of his company to Hannover Finanz. Their holding went over to the drugstore chain of the Dutch Kruidvat group that took over the A.S. Watson Group of Hutchinson Whampoa, a conglomerate from Hongkong, in 2004.

The company is family-run. Together with her husband and two other managing directors, Alice Schardt-Roßmann belongs to the management of Rossmann. The elder son, Daniel, is responsible for expansion and leads the real estate department. The younger son, Raoul, takes responsibility for the purchase and marketing department.[10]

Personal life and social engagement[edit]

Since 1982[11] Dirk Roßmann is married to Alice Schardt-Roßmann in second marriage. He has two sons: Daniel (* 1976) und Raoul (* 1985).[12] Both of them have studied business management and work at the company Rossmann.[13]

In 1991, Dirk Roßmann founded the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), together with his friend Erhard Schreiber, an entrepreneur in the mechanical engineering sector. Operating internationally, the development organization wants to make sex education and birth control accessible for everyone and combines this with an effective fight against poverty. Most of the projects in the sector of sex education and birth control are implemented in Easth Africa.

At Rossmann stores, around 400.000 Euro are donated via collection boxes of Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (DKHW) every year. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of DKHW in 2012, Rossmann duplicated the donation amount.[14] The initiative Mehr Mut zum Ich funds projects of DKHW that aim at strengthening girls’ self-esteem.[15]

Dirk Roßmann supports Mentor – Die Leselernhelfer Hannover e.V. financially. The initiative for children with reading difficulties was established by the Hanoverian bookseller Otto Stender in 2003.[16]

Since 2009, Rossmann supports the initiative Klasse! Wir singen to save singing from extinction in our society and to awake the pleasure in singing among pupils.[17] Over a period of six weeks, students of grades one to seven rehearse a song repertoire with their teachers to sing it together with thousands of others in the end. Therefore, Rossmann provides song books, CDs and shirts. In Lower Saxony, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia more than 440.000 pupils of 4.350 schools took part in 180 concerts.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Dirk Rossmann". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  2. ^ WELT (2012-04-15). "Erfinder des Drogeriemarkts". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  3. ^ Online, FOCUS. "Die Lüge meiner Kindheit". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  4. ^ "Dirk Roßmann: "Unglaublich, dass alles wieder gut wurde"". ZEIT ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  5. ^ "Köpfe: Dirk Roßmann - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche". 2014-04-06. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  6. ^ "Deutschlands erster Drogeriemarkt schließt". HAZ – Hannoversche Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  7. ^ "Allgemeiner Arbeitgeberverband Harz". www.agv-harz.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  8. ^ "Köpfe: Dirk Roßmann - Köpfe - Wirtschaftswoche". 2014-04-06. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ "Geschäftsentwicklung 2016: ROSSMANN-Konzern wächst um 6,3 % auf 8,4 Mrd. Euro". ROSSMANN Unternehmen (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  10. ^ "Gründer macht Sohn zum Einkaufschef: Bei Rossmann kauft in Zukunft Raoul ein" (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  11. ^ "Dirk Roßmann: "Unglaublich, dass alles wieder gut wurde"". ZEIT ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  12. ^ WELT (2012-04-15). "Erfinder des Drogeriemarkts". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  13. ^ Seidel, Hagen (2012-04-14). "Drogeriekette : Dirk Roßmanns Söhne haben keinen Plan B". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  14. ^ "Großer Erfolg der Spendendosenaktion „Sie spenden - wir verdoppeln" – Dirk Rossmann GmbH spendet 250.000 Euro an das Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk – Größte Spende an das Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk im Jubiläumsjahr". www.dkhw.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  15. ^ "Aktion für Mädchen: Mehr Mut zum Ich | Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk". www.dkhw.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  16. ^ "MENTOR - Die Leselernhelfer". ROSSMANN Unternehmen (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  17. ^ "Das Unternehmen PDF". docplayer.org. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  18. ^ "ROSSMANN-Geschäftsentwicklung 2015". ROSSMANN Unternehmen (in German). Retrieved 2018-10-16.