The family-owned companies Trodat and Colop are the two largest manufacturers of markings and are almost neighbours.
Wels is the stamp capital of the world. Only we have a market share of more than 50 percent for self-inking stamps,” smiles Norbert Schrüfer, CEO of Trodat. By historical coincidence, the two largest manufacturers are located practically next to each other in the Upper Austrian industrial metropolis. Number 2 is Colop, founded in 1980 by a former Trodat employee.
“We may be competitors, but of course we greet each other on the street and our employees are probably friends,” adds Franz Ratzenberger, Colop’s general manager. What also connects them is that both are still privately owned. Trodat is 75 percent owned by the descendants of founder Walter Just, Colop of the Skopek family, son Christoph Skopek is co-director.
According to Trodat manager Schrüfer, the fact that the Wels company has established itself worldwide is due to its innovative strength. “In 2023 we can still think of something that can be improved.”
The majority is produced in Wels
The sister company Trotec specializes in laser technology, which is used for engraving stamping plates, advertising pens, etc. It already accounts for more than half of the group’s turnover of EUR 289 million. “This year we are producing more than 40 million stamps with 1,200 employees, mainly in Wels, but we have also almost doubled our factory in China.”
Asia, Africa and South America are also growth regions for Colop, “but the most important market is the US”, says director Ratzenberger. 580 employees produce more than 20 million units in Wels and the Czech Republic, and sales increased by eight percent in 2022. Innovations such as a stamp, encouraging children to wash their hands or the digital hand printer e-Mark, where the print motif can be printed with an app are designed, score points.
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.