Lundhags, the Swedish outdoor brand purchased by the Swix Sport group five years ago, has more than doubled its sales in the interval, boding well for the Norwegian group's acquisition of Helsport.
The turnover reported by Lundhags increased by 16.5 percent to about 233 million Swedish kroner (€23.9m-$26.6m) last year. The turnover reported by Lundhags Skomakarna increased by 11.5 percent to about 223 million Swedish kronor (€22.9m-$25.5m) last year.
This turnover includes sales of the Swix brand handled by Lundhags in Sweden, but excludes sales of the Lundhags brand through Swix subsidiaries in Norway and Germany. The Swedish brand's global sales are estimated to have jumped by about 30 percent last year, fueled by sharp upticks in these two countries and Sweden. The share of international sales has increased to about half of the Swedish brand's turnover.
The support provided by the Swix subsidiary in Germany proved most relevant to expanding sales in the German-speaking countries, which Lundhags wasn't covering directly at the time of its acquisition in 2012. Selling the Swix, Toko and Lundhags brands, the German office works with three sales people and three agents.
Lundhags is also taking advantage of the Swix subsidiary that sells the Swix and Toko brands in North America, although the Swedish brand is targeting only a few retailers so far. Another international market where Lundhags is preparing to work together with Swix is China, where it has just started delivering products. The company is approaching the market through Top Sun Topsun, the distributor that already carries the Swix and Ulvang brands.
Under the arrangements between Swix and Lundhags, the Swedish brand remained under the leadership of its chief executive, Henrik Ottosson. The product development team works in Järpen, where Lundhags was established, and in Stockholm, where the brand has its marketing and sales teams. Warehousing and customer support moved to Norway in June last year.
The strategy pursued by the Swedish brand has led to a significant change in the spread of sales between categories. While it previously focused on footwear and Nordic skating products, about half of the sales last year came from apparel. The share of footwear amounts to about 30 percent, with the remainder derived from backpacks and Nordic skating. Apparel has been driving the expansion, although the weather conditions in the last winter season have been judicious for Nordic skating sales as well. The brand's sales of backpacks could pick up next as Lundhags is heading for the OutDoor fair with an entirely revised range of trekking packs and daypacks, which is more harmoniously integrated into the Lundhags product offering.
But in the last months, the Swedish management has started implementing a more structural strategic shift, as it decided to switch to a single, unified product range for the whole year. This appears to go against the trend of multiple ranges and increasingly flexible deliveries, but the group explains that the change should actually allow for improved planning in partnership with retailers, and more efficient sell-in. Lundhags says that the shift should not lead to any reduction in stock-keeping units, but the range should include more carry-overs and more products that are never out of stock.
Lundhags describes the one-season project as part of a more sustainable business approach, which is paired with investment in the sustainability of its products. The Swedish brand has long been using polycotton, a fabric that combines cotton with polyester, but from next year it will be made entirely of recycled polyester and organic cotton. Lundhags has also invested in the traceability of its products and circular production.