On the 1st of December 2016, seven CITO representatives went to Taipei to visit the company Outdoor Gear which has two stores in Taipei, Rockland and Whiterock, in which they sell outdoor equipment and clothes. The company caught the CITO-members’ attention since it started up as (and still is) the only distributor of its kind of Fjällräven goods in Taiwan. The visit took place nearby the Rockland store in a store dedicated to Fjällräven goods where the CITO representatives were hosted by Mr Hank Lin and his wife who run the company together.
The group was initially guided through the store where Mr Lin demonstrated the Fjällräven products. Later, the group sat down and had a relaxed conversation about the business of Outdoor Gear. Mr Lin provided a brief introduction to the company and its history and followed up by explaining Fjällräven’s presence in Taiwan.
Since 1995 Outdoor Gear is the main distributor for Fjällräven in Taiwan and uses about 50 retailers to spread the Fjällräven brand around the country. Due to a large-scale boom, the outdoor business has been very beneficial where the well-known backpack “Kånken” has been one of the most popular items sold and spread the Fjällräven brand.
For the question “how it’s like working as a distributor of a Swedish global brand?”, Mr Lin answered that the most significant Swedish influence was the values being transferred. Mr Lin explained that he perceived the Swedish culture, at least within Fjällräven, as very respectful. Especially when it comes to fulfilling undertaken decisions Mr Lin found Swedes very loyal to the decisions and each other. He also pointed out that he found Swedes and Swedish companies carrying healsome values including putting the family above work as one of the most important.
The visit ended with Mr Lin sharing some of his thoughts about the future of which he was very positive. Due to Fjällräven’s strong brand recognition and prosperity in Asia, Mr Lin acted very confident about the future development for his business. Being part of an international network where ideas and experiences can be exchanged combined with Fjällräven’s own marketing activities was declared as the largest advantages and gave hope of a long-term cooperation.
The visit was very insightful and the CITO representatives highly appreciated the effort undertaken by our hosts. The reception was very friendly and the provided information definitely motivated the visit.