Swedish fashion brand Tiger of Sweden has been renowned for its quality and craftsmanship for over 120 years. It has been exported its products internationally since the 1930s, and they can be found in thousands of stories across Europe and North America. The next step in its global expansion is Asia, starting with South Korea.

“We believe South Korea is the right destination for us, since consumers have a big interest in premium products,” says Rikard Lindström, Sales Director Nordics, Tiger of Sweden. “Swedish brands are regarded highly there, often perceived as sophisticated and innovative. South Korea also has a dynamic fashion and beauty industry where consumers are actively searching for new brands and products.”

The tentative first steps in a new market

The first challenge was knowing where to start. In 2022, Tiger of Sweden reached out to Business Sweden, who was able to set -up some initial meetings with potential partners. It also connected the company with the Hyundai Handsome and Samsung Beaker department stores to discuss potential partnerships. In 2023, Business Sweden partnered with Tiger of Sweden again for Swedish Lifestyle Week, an event consisting of business meetings and a reception at the Swedish Embassy. These initiatives became the foundation of Tiger of Sweden’s entry into the Korean market.

“Business Sweden connected us with potential partners and listed new players that might be of a good fit to us, in addition to our wish list of companies,” says Rikard. “As a result, we had business meetings with Lotte Department Store, Samsung C&T Fashion Group, Hyundai Department Store – all of whom are the traditionally strong in offline channels – as well as Musinsa and EQL, who are rising online players. Swedish Lifestyle Week was the highlight where almost 50 KOLs (key opinion leaders) in fashion and beauty industries gathered for networking.”

A well-connected ally

Business Sweden has been hosting Swedish Lifestyle Week at its Seoul office for ten years now. During this time, it has built up extensive networks of contacts within the consumer goods market, as well as leveraged networks within the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. In addition to using these networks to assist Tiger of Sweden, it was also able to support the brand with navigating through the customs and intricacies of Korean culture.

“We got the opportunity to meet and directly present our brand to buyers and stakeholders for multiple partners that we wouldn´t have meet if not for working with Business Sweden,” says Rikard. “We will continue to work on the relationships with these partners to hopefully be able to grow our presence in South Korea. We have also since opened up our e-com shop to South Korea as part of building our brand in the market.”

“We got the opportunity to meet and directly present our brand to buyers and stakeholders for multiple partners that we wouldn´t have meet if not for working with Business Sweden.”

Challenge

Tiger of Sweden wanted to expand to South Korea with a credible partner, who will work together in building up their local presence. However, Tiger of Sweden lacked contacts and knowledge in finding a long-term partner for them.

Solution

Business Sweden helped Tiger of Sweden get connected with the leading, but also new Korean companies that could potentially be a good fit and showcased Tiger of Sweden’s key collections to industry KOLs, emphasising the Swedish branding.

Result

The collaboration opened doors for Tiger of Sweden’s business dialogues with key potential partners and facilitated market understanding in shaping the market entry strategy. The dialogues are ongoing with shaping the partnerships.

Value impact

Business Sweden’s business promotional activity and meeting supports enabled Tiger of Sweden to initiate communication with the potential partners and finetune their market strategy at a minimised risk and cost, leveraging the Team Sweden resources.

About Tiger of Sweden

Tiger of Sweden was established in 1903, in Uddevalla, a small town on Sweden’s west coast. The company was the first to introduce read-to-wear tailoring to Sweden, thus making suits accessible to all. For over 120 years, the brand has represented high quality tailoring and craftsmanship, and continues to refine contemporary fashion to this day. Its products can be found in stores and boutiques across Europe and North America.

Contact

Are you interested in learning about Asian markets and exploring how Business Sweden can take your brand into the region? Please contact Soyeon Kang at Soyeon.kang@business-sweden.se