As its four-year strategic plan is drawing to a close, Fjällräven is laying down another set of objectives that call for heightened investments in the marketing of its jackets, backpacks and other types of equipment. Although it is already strongly established in some categories of jackets, the company points to some weaknesses in such products as waterproofs.
The previous strategic plan laid out by Martin Axelhed, Fjällräven’s general manager, called for the company to double its sales of pants to 500,000 pairs from 2006 to 2010. The company says it is well on track to reach this objective, largely due to the dedicated pants displays it has set up in about 100 stores, mostly within the Naturkompaniet chain, which belongs to the same group, and at German stores such as those of SportScheck.
Sales of pants have increased most remarkably in Germany, its largest market, as well as in Sweden and Denmark, but less in the Netherlands. Far from reducing its prices to reach targeted volumes, average selling prices have increased with the launch of the brand’s hybrid pants, which retail at up to €150.
The company has completed another aspect of its business plan, which called for a cutback in the number of items and a clearer definition of the various product ranges. On the other hand, its efforts to regain influence in the equipment market have not yielded sales results as quickly as anticipated.
Fjällräven’s refreshed equipment offering has been rewarded through a distinction by Ute Magazinet, the leading outdoor magazine in Sweden, which picked the “Kajka” as its favorite large backpack. The company is continuing to invest in this business by reinforcing Fjällräven’s equipment unit from September with an industrial designer, Stefan Stahlgren, who specializes in outdoor products.
The company’s new focus on jackets will involve some of the same tactics as the trouser project. Some of the trouser displays already feature jackets, and this should be pushed in the next years. For the time being, sales of Fjällräven apparel are spread almost equally among trousers, jackets and other products.
Separately, Fjällräven should continue its international expansion after the recently reported appointment of Harald Heim as export manager for Eastern Europe at the Fenix Outdoor group, which owns Fjällräven as well as other brands such as Hanwag and Primus. He will start by focusing on Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Primus, the stoves brand of the group, is already sold in 12 countries in the region, while Hanwag, its footwear brand, has distribution in five Eastern European countries.
But Hungary is the only country in Eastern Europe where the Fjällräven brand is distributed for the time being. Further distribution agreements are to be sealed in the next months for a roll-out in the second half of next year.