February 1, 2018 – Brunswick’s Richard Borek Group – the world’s largest specialist mail-order company for collectors’ items – celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Germany’s oldest continuously family-owned mail-order company is currently being successfully managed by the fourth generation. All owners so far have shared the name Richard Borek. Philatelists and numismatists throughout Germany and abroad value Richard Borek as an expert partner.
Headquarters of the Richard Borek Group, 2018. Photo: Borek.
Looking back on a long tradition, the company currently employs more than 500 people. Together with its subsidiary MDM Münzhandelsgesellschaft Deutsche Münze, it is the world market leader for coins and medallions. Serving collectors everywhere, Richard Borek is a cooperation partner of around 50 nations, including China and the USA, and of institutions such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA.
In its anniversary year 2018, the company is putting all its efforts into driving the digital transformation. The goal is to develop new digital products and inspire new customers around the world to take up stamp and coin collecting. “With its business models from the past, the old economy will not be successful in the future. Software is becoming more and more important compared to the hardware, the product itself,” says Richard Borek IV, who sees digitization as the key to a successful future. Some segments are already seeing an online share of well over 50 percent – a figure that is set to rise even further.
Richard Borek II and Richard Borek III at the typesetting machine, 1967. Photo: Borek.
Richard Borek I sold his first stamps from his parents’ fur shop in 1893. The company’s rapid growth was in no small part thanks to two revolutionary ideas that would change philately for ever: offering unused stamps and collecting new issues in a subscription. In the 1930s, Richard Borek II joined the company as the second generation. He was successful in navigating the crisis that followed the Second World War, when the import of stamps from abroad was banned until the late 1950s. The “Hobby-Prospekt” brochure he published as an advertisement for stamp collecting achieved sales of 3.5 million in 1960 – an incredible figure for the time. The campaign attracted more than 50,000 subscribers. It was an age of interest in new cultures, and the sale of album pages with series from all over the world was the perfect fit.
Richard Borek III (seated) with Richard Borek IV, 2018. Photo: Borek.
Led by Richard Borek III, the company began to do business on every continent on Earth. By introducing modern management techniques such as corporate planning, marketing and controlling, he ensured structured growth as early as the 1980s. With MDM, Richard Borek III also managed to spark interest in coins across every sector of society and to tap the international market, as well as successfully transferring his experience in the stamp market to the coin business. The final breakthrough onto the world market for both stamps and coins came in 2012, when the Richard Borek Group successfully entered the Chinese market.
This is the company’s website (available only in German, though).
And this is the MDM website.
You can read more about the company founder Richard Borek in the German version of Wikipedia.