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The International Growth of Swedish Fashion Companies
University of Borås, Swedish School of Textiles. (F:3 - Fashion Function Futures)
University of Borås, Swedish School of Textiles. (F:3 - Fashion Function Futures)
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)Alternative title
Internationell tillväxt i svenska modeföretag (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This report is the result of a research study on how some of the established and successful Swedish fashion companies have become international fashion brands. The purpose of the study is to analyse how and why these companies have made different choices, which barriers they have experienced and overcome, what mistakes they have made, what lessons they have learned and what knowledge they would like to share with new upcoming companies and young designers. Twelve medium-sized and small Swedish fashion companies participated in the study, which aimed to provide a deeper understanding on how Swedish fashion companies have acted and progressed to expand internationally. The companies that participated in the study were ACNE, Cheap Monday, Filippa K, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Hope, House of Dagmar, Hunkydory, J.Lindeberg, Odd Molly, Rodebjer, Tiger of Sweden and WeSC. These companies are brand-oriented with creative marketing, stand for good quality and high fashion degree. The majority were founded and built up by entrepreneurs with many years of experience and a good working knowledge of the fashion industry. All the companies that participated have been established on several markets around the world for many years. We have interviewed leading persons in these companies, who have participated in the decision-making of internationalization and also been part of the implementation. We have also used the annual report and financial development of these companies for the purpose of discussing the development with the persons we interviewed. The study shows that most Swedish fashion companies have a clear vision and a goal to become exporting brands since their inception as the Swedish market was considered to be too small. However, it has been shown later that the majority of the companies have become successful in Sweden as well and that it is possible to sell high quality goods with a high degree of fashion in a middle price segment also in Sweden. The common key success factors for international expansion have been their ability to position their brands properly and offer the international markets a good quality, high fashion degree to reasonable prices. They also emphasize the importance of a high capacity to deliver on time. However, some of the companies have been forced to self-evaluate their organizations during and after the financial crisis in order to focus on fewer markets rather than a broad expansion. They now prioritize profitability over growth. The challenge and difficulties in expanding into far away markets are due to trade restrictions, bureaucracy and cultural differences. In contrast, countries closer to the home market and EU-countries are considered to be easy export markets even if countries like the United States remain as an attractive market to invest in. For the future, some companies are looking to invest in Asia and South America even if the strategy today is to focus on the markets where they are already present. Common for all the companies in the study is that the key to international success requires very good knowledge of each market, true dedication and a large industry network. This report is conducted by the Swedish School of Textiles and is part of the research taking place within the research program F: 3, Fashion, Function, Future, which brings together the research within the field of fashion at the University of Borås. The project is a collaboration with Association of Swedish Fashion Brands and the Fashion Incubator.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Borås , 2013.
Keyword [en]
International growth, Swedish fashion industry, Success factor, Economics and Business: Business Administration, efficient business, Textile management
National Category
Other Social Sciences Economics and Business
Research subject
Textiles and Fashion (General)
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-4564Local ID: 2320/12739ISBN: 13978-91-975576-6-5OAI: diva2:883946

The project is a collaboration with Association of Swedish Fashion Brands and the Fashion Incubator.


The project is funded by VINNOVA as part of their support to the Fashion Incubator and has been a part of the Baltic Fashion project.

Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2016-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Svengren Holm, LisbethTijburg, Katrin
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