Workwear and Personal Protection

Swedol’s Workwear and Personal Protection Division offers professional users a complete range of workwear and personal protective equipment. With its combined offer, the group is one of the leading companies in the Nordic countries.

A market leader within workwear and personal protection

The group’s Workwear and Personal Protection Division is a Nordic market leader within workwear and personal protective equipment. The offer includes a broad and comprehensive range focused on strong brands. All stores also offer services in the form of clothes printing and the logistics centers offer alteration and embroidery services along with printing. Sales are made via the group’s store network and specialist salesforce and e-commerce. The products are available on all the group’s geographic markets; Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia.

A combined range within workwear and personal protective equipment in the division means the business area can be managed in a focused and targeted way to strengthen the group’s position as a marketleader. In operational terms, the division is primarily located in Gothenburg and managed by an organization with extensive know-how and long experience within the sector.

Focus on product development and strong brands

The division focus lies in offering customers marketleading products within all relevant areas, which calls for a good balance between own brands and external brands. Own brands enable better control over the value chain and potentially higher margins while external brands complement these with marketleading products within areas that are important for customers. The range is divided into four product categories; Workwear, Footwear, Gloves and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The division pursues systematic range work to develop and strengthen the offer, both via the development of own brands and external brands. Balance is important in the range and the various product brands should complement each other to meet the needs of professional users. There is a strong focus on product development and new products are continuously being developed and existing products updated, improved or discontinued. Product development is partly done internally and partly via partnerships with other producers and suppliers. Appreciated properties and the functionality of our own brands are exploited crosswise provided this is in line with the relevant product price and performance profile.

During the year, the division has worked on further developing the product development process with the aim of making internal processes more efficient and to bring new products to market more rapidly. A number of successful product launches were implemented in 2018, such as Björnkläder’s new Carpenter Soul and Björnkläder Parvotex ranges, a new collection in Parvotex, a lighter material with inherent flame retardant that is certified to the latest flame retardant standards. Another successful launch was a premium range of work gloves from Balance.

In line with more and more Swedol stores including a Grolls center, a larger number of customers are gaining access to a more complete range of workwear and personal protection. A larger number of Grolls centers within the group store network moving forward in combination with a strengthened sales organization offers good potential for increased cross sales.

Choice of materials and quality

One consequence of the division’s extensive product development work is greater responsibility and requirements on control in the production chain. To reduce the impact on people and the environment, systematic work is done to ensure products are of high quality and made of the right materials. A key and unique part of Swedol’s product development of clothing lies in the specification work. The material composition of garments is specified in detail to enable total control over content and quality. Such control over the material composition also assures total traceability, which ensures continuous improvements. To ensure no undesirable chemicals are found in our products, we apply a chemicals restriction list from RISE/Swerea IVF. In the case of own brand products, our long-term aim is that all new materials should be certified by OEKO-TEX®. This work results in competitive products that are safe to use
from an environment and health perspective.

During the year, external quality controls were introduced before shipping from Asia. Every new production of a fabric, is checked, which reduces the number of claims. By rejecting products that do not live up to requirements before they leave Asia, this avoids unnecessary shipping which makes a significant different from both an efficiency and environment perspective. To ensure a range lives up to high demands on quality, safety and content, the division takes a goal oriented approach to prevent deviations in quality, safety or chemical content associated with products.