Textiles, poles and even more wax
Tiedemanns purchased the clothing company Norheim and coordinated marketing activities with Swix Sportswear in 1990.
The Sondre collection reached a peak in popularity during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994, but in 1996 Swix sold off the brand names Norheim, Sondre and Frank Shorter. Swix continued with textiles, but focused particularly on training and competition equipment – with tremendous success.
Ever since 1988 Swix have had an agreement with the Norwegian Ski Federation for provision of apparel for all cross-country teams.
During the 1990s, Swix reinforced focus on three main areas: waxing, textiles and poles.
Swix is a world leader in the sale of Nordic poles and also produces some of the worlds best alpine poles. In the late 90’s the sport of snowboarding grew tremendously, starting in North America. Some of the world’s top snowboarders such as Terje Haakonsen come from Norway and they have embraced Swix waxes.
A completely new market niche also experienced tremendous growth. Nordic walking - poles for use during the summer season – was launched in Finland and came to Norway early in the year 2000. The German market also grew rapidly. Everything revolved around better poles and new customer groups, as large numbers of people started exercising with poles during the off-season for skiing. They discovered that Nordic walking was excellent exercise because it also worked out the upper body. Even more than before, Swix now became a supplier of equipment for year-round recreational activities, and marketed itself to a wide range of customer groups and skill levels. A common thread in modern Swix history is that Swix equips everyone.
The acquisition of Elite Sport in 2004, with the brand names Bavac and Ulvang, strengthened the company’s position in textiles and increased the range of products even further. Elite Sport was a success, with the legendary cross-country skier Vegard Ulvang as the front figure for socks, hats and underwear.
In 2010 the Swiss Mammut Sports Group AG decided to sell the Toko brand, including all of its activities and products, to a new subsidiary of the Norwegian company Swix Sport AS. Toko, which occupies a leading position in central Europe, has a long tradition in ski waxing and today offers a wide range of Swiss-quality ski wax, tools and care products for top performance. After the purchase, Toko maintained its Swiss identity and Swix Sport AS pursues a two brand strategy, with separate product portfolios and distribution channels. Both brands, Toko and Swix, has benefited from collective investments in product development, production and logistics. “Toko’s leading position in central Europe and strong presence in alpine markets, together with our nordic focus is a perfect match in order to offer new and superior products in the future,” stated Ulf Bjerknes, CEO of Swix Sport AS after the purchase.
In February 2012 Swix Sport expanded the textile division with the acquisition of Lundhags Skomakarna AB from the EQT Opportunity Fund. Swix Sport has for many years, developed a sound market position in Sweden. Through the purchase of Lundhags, Swix Sport will establish an even stronger position in this market. The brand strength of Lundhags in Sweden, combined with their vast experience in the outdoor industry, will contribute significantly to our growth, both in Sweden and throughout our international markets. Lundhags on the other hand has a clear objective to increase sales in all existing channels and further position the company for growth and expansion into new markets in the years ahead. The integration and synergy of Lundhangs into Swix Sport will become a critical factor to reaching these goals.
In June 2012 Swix Sport also finalized its purchase of Original Teamwear AS. This company has a leading position in Scandinavia in supporting clubs, racing teams and the B2B market with specialized racing and training clothing.
In 2013, Swix Sport AS is stronger than ever. The company has a strong position in Norway as well as internationally. Swix is associated with something positive and outdoorsy – with a healthier and happier lifestyle. In Norway the weather forecasters on TV reports “Blue Swix” snow conditions when they expect excellent ski conditions for the weekend!
Swix ski wax is still made in Lillehammer. Advanced machinery featuring giant boilers is now run by two people standing at each end. The mixture is boiled, poured into forms and the contents then dry and become a finished product. Production is extremely mechanized and will remain in Norway.
Ski poles was manufactured in Lillehammer until 2007 when the reminding production was moved to Lithuania. Some models are also produced in China.
Textiles and some Swix products are produced in Eastern Europe and China. But the company’s main storage facility, the hardgoods division and parts of the administration are still located in Lillehammer. The R&D, poles, sales organization, marketing , textile departments and the rest of the administration are located in Oslo.
Swix Sport is a modern, global enterprise who can look back on more than 60 active and innovative years. Swix is found anywhere you find skiing and is one of the ski industry’s strongest brand names. It carries with it proud, healthy values and has influenced the sport of skiing more than anyone could have imagined when it first started producing its popular ski wax. Swix has become a part of the Norwegian national character and is also sold in more the 30 countries. For many the Swix name is the very symbol of winter sports.