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Business in the Time of COVID: Tretorn

Undisputed champions of Scandinavian outerwear, Tretorn talks us through the highs and lows of running a business in the midst of a global pandemic

How has life been within Tretorn during the pandemic?
For us, it has meant that we’ve needed to push ourselves further, making critical decisions on a daily basis and further supporting our current strategy to focus more on direct-to-consumer via our own ecom and marketplaces. As a result of this strategy, we also will open our first ever retail store; a Tretorn shop in Helsingborg that will open in August. 

Obviously things were slightly different in Sweden with regards to lockdown. How did that affect international liaisons?
The greatest difference lies in not being able to meet customers face to face. We have had to completely change our selling process, relying on digital meetings and other solutions to showcase our products. It’s amazing how fast an organisation can adapt and learn new things. This pandemic has really shown that you can do business all over the world – not only from your desk, but from your kitchen.

How did the business function in terms of staff and furlough?
We had to take necessary actions to mitigate damage and increase the top-line. This has meant short term furlough for some, but we also used the time to focus on developing new and exciting product categories, pushing the brand forward, and maintaining a level of visibility. We worked with three different scenarios – a worst case, a realistic case and a more optimistic case. After some seriously hard work, we can now see a bright future. And of course, staffing is now back to 100%.

Tretorn has been behind some amazing collaborations and partnerships, namely the recent coming together with British designer Nigel Cabourn. Can you talk us through that a little?
The products coming out from this collaboration are great. They show both our dedicated approach to sustainability and our strong heritage. Nigel Cabourn is a brilliant designer and we have learned a lot in terms of both fabric and design. The collaboration has also given us a strong presence and a higher distribution outside Sweden, such as the UK and Japan. We are excited to be launching three more products from the collaboration in FW20.

What are the next steps for Tretorn in terms of getting back to normality?
We will continue to keep an eye on the crisis and strive to develop new products and categories within our already-strong positioning. We’ll weather the storm, we’re ‘born out of Scandinavian weather’, after all. We will also continue to evolve our sustainable standing by taking ‘Eco Essentials’ to new levels. Our partnership with the Sea Life trust has been a great starting point in order to protect the world’s oceans and the amazing marine life that lives within them. 

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