We paid a visit to the headquarters of Stenströms in Helsingborg, south of Sweden, and had a nice conversation and lunch with Marie Ramberg (Marketing Manager) and Peter Jüriado (Head of Design for the Men’s department).
AA: What are the origins of the name Stenströms ?
MR: Our founder´s name was August Stenström. So he named the company after his last name/family name.
AA: When was the company founded and where are you based?
MR: It was founded 1883 as a store that sold cigars, newspapers and also made shirts. 1899 the shirt business was so big that he needed to separate that business and started a shirt factory.
AA: Who owns the company today and who designs the products?
MR: the owner today is Anders Bengtsson, he is the third family that owns the company. Peter Jüriado is head of design for the men´s department and Alexandra Ekwall is head of design for the ladies´department.
AA: Where does the inspiration of your products come from?
MR: Inspiration comes from all over, like travel, art, social media, magazines, food, cities, TV-series, classic men´s fashion, and of course our heritage.
AA: How would you describe Stenströms with just three words?
MR: Specialist, quality, innovative, “Swedish condfidence exported since 1899”
AA: How many people are currently employed?
MR: 45 people in Sweden and 100 in our factory in Estonia.
AA: what are the revenues of the company in 2017?
MR: Turnover has been 254 milion SEK in 2017 (which means roughly 25 Million euros)
AA: Are you happy with the results you guys had so far?
MR: Yes we are!
AA: What’s your business model looking now today ? own stores, wholesale, ecommerce (managed by whom?)
MR: We have 4 own stores, we do wholesale and we have started our own E-commerce with focus on our brand as brand temple. We focus mainly on all wholesale retailers but need to show our collections in a digital platform.
AA: How many wholesale account are now buying your products?
MR: About 2000
AA: What are the most important markets for you right now?
MR: Our home market Sweden, the Nordic countries where we have a long tradition of exporting our garments, Germany, USA and the Benelux countries.
AA: What is your approach in regards to social media platforms? Do you use any to promote your business?
MR: Yes we use our web page, Instagram and Facebook and work with newsletters.
AA: How good you rate your corporate website ? do you track the visits ? and do you interact with your clients there?
MR: Yes we do. We have recently launched a new website and are currently working to get everything launched and 100% updated.
AA: How would you describe your strategy in regards to “communication”? do you invest in print magazines ? do you prefer to go thru a digital communication approach?
MR: We invest some money in print magazines but focus mainly on digital communication.
AA: What is your approach when it comes to Influencers/Ambassadors?
MR: We work with ambassadors thru giveaways. We think that it is more serious to support some persons that we think are important for us and like our brand than to buy presence in social media.
AA: Where do you manufacture your products? Has it been difficult to find the right production companies?
MR: No we have stable production facilities. We have long lasting relationships in Europe.
AA: Where do you see your company/brand in three years?
We think we are present in more countries and have established our brand in the same strong way as we have done in USA for example. We have been there for about three and a half year and have 150 retailers selling our products.
AA: What’s the biggest mistake you have done lately?
MR: We can´t say that we have done any specific mistakes recently.
AA: What are you mostly proud of?
MR: We are proud of the high quality fabrics and yarns that we have the possibility to work with to create superb products. We are also proud of having a great sales team and co-workers in the company. It is much about the people working with the brand that makes it a brand. We are also proud of all the long-lasting relationships we have with all our customers around the world. Our oldest customer has been a customer since 1899.
AA: What’s your approach towards seasonal collections/ discount policy?
We have seasonal collections but have very little sale. We understand that the retailers need to have a sale after the season. We don´t like mid-season sales.
AA: Which other products / brands / you like to see next to yours?
MR: Jacob Cohen, Incotex, Caruso, Boglioli, L.B.M, Rota, Hevo, Max Mara, C.QP
AA: What’s your 3 favorite specialty stores in the world (where you would like to possibly sell your products to)
MR: Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Trunk Clothiers in London, Lodenfrey in Munich (we are there already)
article by Alessandro Agazzi
photography courtesy of Stenströms
special thanks to Marie Ramberg and Peter Jüriado !