Grolls can trace back its history to 1832 when Captain Leonard Grolls opened his first workshop, L.Grolls Lärftshandel, in Gamla Stan, Stockholm. Following numerous mergers and name changes, Grolls, which was named Björnkläder at the time, was acquired by private equity firm Litorina Capital in late 2010. The following year saw the company change its name to Grolls, combining the capacities of the business with professional-wear manufacturer, Nytello, with ProGozz, a reseller of Björnkläder products. The purpose of all these structural and brand changes was to expand the company’s network and create a more defined separation between the manufacturing and retail arms of the operation.

CEO and managing director of Grolls Hans Janzon has more than 20 years of sales, marketing, and management experience in industrial companies on a global basis. “I am actually a geological engineer by background and I got the masters degree from the Colorado School of Mines in Colorado. I had worked as a geologist for about five years. Then I worked for Atlas Copco, the engineering company where they are selling mining equipment all around the world, for 12 years in various marketing director positions. I was later sales director at Rolls-Royce Marine for five years. I have been the managing director for Grolls for the past 10 years.”

Throughout his tenure, Hans has seen the company go through various stages of growth and expansion. “When I came in, I had to be more of a jack of all trades and master of none. We had so many distributional channels when I first joined the company, but we have now focused on the retail chain of Grolls. When I came to the company, we only had nine stores, direct sales, and various other sales channels. We now have 46 outlets and have grown from nine to 46 in 10 years. Today, 85 per cent of our sales go through the Grolls stores.”