The stereo turntable Universum FV5521/A Stereo-Phono-Gerät. Made in Germany

The stereo turntable Universum FV5521/A Stereo-Phono-Gerät. Made in Germany

Universum was a trademark of the mail order company Quelle GmbH for consumer electronics and multimedia products. The manufacturer’s name was not disclosed to the customer. Like the manufacturer, the Profectis technical customer service took on the guarantee, repair and spare parts delivery obligations. As a result of the insolvency of the Arcandor group, Profectis also went bankrupt, but could be sold on.

Often the devices were imported from Quelle for shipping to Germany. This saved the manufacturer a branch in the European Union. When dealing with authorities, for example for approving devices, Quelle then took on the role of manufacturer. There were also small niche manufacturers behind the products, so speakers were purchased from Eastech or WIGO, a company that only served the small premium segment as a brand. Other devices were imported from the GDR, in some cases forced labor also played a role in production.

Until the beginning of the 1960s, Simonetta was the trademark for radio and tape recorders from Quelle; Right from the start, televisions were offered under the Universum name. Cassette recorders were also sold under the Privileg trademark.

On November 5, 2009, it was first announced that the Otto Group had secured the trademark rights to Universum in addition to the trademark rights to Quelle. However, following a decision by the cartel office, Otto had to resell the latter. The trademark rights now belong to the company K-Mail-Order GmbH & Co. KG in Pforzheim, which is also known as the mail order company Klingel.

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