Grolls, with head office in Göteborg, is a specialist retailer of workwear and protective products and equipment (“PPE”) in the Nordic region. Grolls offers a mix of its own proprietary brands and leading external brands to 30,000 small and midsized professional customers. In 2010, Litorina entered into a partnership with the management team to drive Grolls’ development as a stand-alone company following the divestment from the Berendsen Group.
The management team of Grolls wanted to expand the business across the Nordic region and more aggressively develop the company on a stand-alone basis. Litorina saw a potential to partner with the team to develop Grolls into a leading integrated workwear and PPE specialist through a combination of greenfield openings and acquisitions of other specialist retailers and workwear brands.
Value creation initiatives.
Setting the foundation
The value creation in Grolls focused on developing the company’s proprietary brands and accelerate growth through greenfield openings and acquisitions. To enable the successful implementation of these initiatives, we established a new organisation and strengthened the team with a new CFO, supply chain manager and additional sales representatives as well as relevant advisors on the board with experience from the Nordic workwear market.
Doubling the size
Grolls was already a leading Swedish workwear specialist when Litorina came in as a partner in 2010. Following Litorina’s acquisition, an ambitious plan was put together with an objective to become the leading Nordic PPE specialist. Over the next five years, the team acquired the Univern business-to-business retail chain in Norway with 13 outlets, added the light workwear brand Nytello in Sweden and opened or acquired a total of 12 local stores in the Nordics. In total, Grolls grew from 25 stores in 2010 to 48 stores in 2015, while at the same time delivering growth across its existing store network.
During Litorina’s ownership the sales of proprietary brands expanded significantly, inventory efficiency was improved and underlying sales increased as the sales team increased by more than 20 people.