So that nothing and no one slips

Interview with Johanna Kolckmann, Partner of A. Kolckmann GmbH

A. Kolckmann Child
Sustainable and durable: The crawling mat grows with the child and can be used for playing as well as for gymnastics and yoga

With the invention of the anti-slip mat for carpets and tablecloths, Claus Kolckmann set standards. This laid the foundation for the success of A. Kolckmann GmbH, which has continuously developed its range over the decades. To this day, the company from Alfdorf in the Swabian Forest remains family-owned and is active far beyond the borders of Germany.

“The most important success factor for our company was my father Claus Kolckmann's idea to develop a non-slip mat and to continuously improve this product,” describes Johanna Kolckmann, partner at A. Kolckmann GmbH. “We are the pioneers of carpet underlays and were the first company in the world to present them at the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt in 1964. Since that time, we have patented various products and have recently patented a new carpet underlay. To this day, we – like my father – continue to tinker with our products to make them better.” The product range has long since expanded, and today, floor coverings, carpet, installation and tablecloth underlays, as well as technical mats, yoga, and baby mats, make up the portfolio of the family company.

Johanna Kolckmann, Partner of A. Kolckmann GmbH
Johanna Kolckmann, Partner of A. Kolckmann GmbH

Own Weaving Mill

A distinctive feature of A. Kolckmann is the company's extensive manufacturing depth. "We have the complete value chain in-house," the shareholder emphasizes. "We weave the basic fabric ourselves, we coat it, and we also process it further – all here at our company headquarters in Alfdorf." The company's continuous development is also special.

"Our yoga mat originated from the carpet underlay," Johanna Kolckmann recalls. "From the yoga mat, we designed our crawling mat. A mainstay of ours is our technical products for the industry. Another important pillar in the portfolio is safety mats for outdoor areas, which are coated with granules and therefore have a strong anti-slip effect. They are used, for example, in front of nursing homes, where people can easily fall, especially in winter."

Family Business

Together with her three siblings Ariane, Georg, and Claus Joachim, Johanna Kolckmann is a shareholder of the company, which today employs 45 people and generates an annual revenue of 8.5 million EUR. However, the operational business is also connected to the family, as the managing director Cornelius Sorg is the cousin of Johanna Kolckmann. To draw attention to themselves, A. Kolckmann GmbH is present at trade fairs, sometimes as an exhibitor, sometimes as a visitor. For example, the company has its own stand at the ‘Domotex’ in Hanover and at the Munich ‘Bau’.

A. Kolckmann Living Room
Latest patent: The non-slip pad AKO PRIMA consists of a PSE glass yarn fabric, coated with a special acrylic foam

Core Market Europe

Just under 40% of sales are generated outside of Germany by the family business. Even though customers are also served in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, the focus is clearly on the European market. The durability of the mats is certainly an important aspect today. Thus, a ten-year warranty is given on various products. Sustainability is also the focus of a reference project. "BASF has developed a plasticizer that is made 100% from plastic waste," explains Johanna Kolckmann. "And we are currently the only ones using this environmentally friendly plasticizer for yoga mats."

A. Kolckmann Entrance
When slip resistance and anti-slip properties are required – especially in winter: AKO Safety Mat

For the coming years, the shareholder definitely wants to maintain the current status for the company and continue to have a strong presence in the market. Above all, however, she wants to continue looking positively into the future, despite the truly difficult times today.