The GC Rieber Group has since the beginning in 1879 been developed through four generations, both through partnerships and acquisitions. The company hold the name of its founder, Gottlieb Christian Rieber, who started the first store in Bergen. 140 years later we are 500 employees worldwide.
Gottlieb Christian Rieber
Gottlieb Christian Rieber was the grandson of German emigrants to the United States; their sailing vessel was caught in a storm and blown ashore on the island of Herdla west of Bergen in 1817. Like his parents and grandparents, G.C. Rieber made the most of his opportunities. When he secured a trading license in 1879, he set up a wholesale business in hides and skins in Bergen.
From hides and skins to a medium-sized group
Soon he opened branch offices – first in Trondheim in 1888, then in Oslo, Stavanger, Tromsø and Ålesund.
Product knowledge was one of G.C. Rieber’s fundamental business principles. Gradually, new product groups and industries relating to the existing business were included in the company’s activities.
From trading in hides and skins, it was natural to move into tanning, and then into the production of footwear and the shoe retail trade. From the fur trade to sealing, sealing vessels and ice-going research vessels. From Arctic Ocean products to marine oils, feed products and mackerel fillets. From vacated warehouses and factories to property development and modern business centres.
Credit is due to the person who makes two blades of grass grow where before there was only one.
Industry, Shipping and Commercial Property
Cautious diversification allowed our Company to develop in accordance with a changing world and gave it strength. Yet caution never prevented the Company from trying out new, unconventional avenues in the future. During the shortages in World War II, for instance, G.C. Rieber produced leather from fish skins. Today we operate within five different industries: shipping, salt, real estate, emergency nutrition and marine oils.
Healthy cooperation, long-term partnerships and strategic acquisitions have always been an important part of our growth strategy. The brand GC Rieber shows that we share a vision and a foundation of shared values and business principles.