At KappAhl there are roughly 4,000 co-workers working with everything from design and sales to marketing and IT, in different parts of the world. Together, we sell hundreds and thousands of items every day. Whatever field we work in, we all share the same goal of putting the customer in focus.
Meet seven of our co-workers here.
The IT department, Lizett Isaak
Lizett Isaak has worked at KappAhl’s IT department at the headquarter in Mölndal for two years.
Working at a headquarter means being close to the business and a breadth in the IT system flora that Lizett appreciates. “The everyday job at the IT department is a lot of fun," she says, and emphasizes the big and rapid changes that characterize the clothing industry at the moment: “They create many new opportunities, not least on the IT side.”
"As a designer, I am the team's catalyst!"
Name: Malin Berlin.
Job title: Designer at XLNT, KappAhl’s plus-size women’s collection.
Interests: Spending time in the countryside with family, clearing the garden or going for walks in the forest, as well as travel and TV series. “I’m a Netflix junkie!”
What inspires me: “People! People in general, but our customer most of all. Her style, how she puts clothes together, what she does in her everyday life, what she needs. I find her in real life as well as on social media.”
My style: “Black is my base. And I like blazers and dresses; I’m not one for jeans. But on the whole I dress based on my mood and the occasion.”
"As a designer at XLNT, my team and I develop assortments that will inspire and appeal to our customer. The KappAhl Woman designers and I pick which overarching trends to work with each the season – Woman and XLNT follow the same trends – and then it’s up to me and the rest of the XLNT team to adapt them to suit our customer. Fit is everything at XLNT, so I work very closely with our pattern makers, ordering lots of samples and testing them out on our fitting models.
I have worked at KappAhl for 15 years, and I designed underwear and womenswear before moving to XLNT a few years ago. I really love KappAhl’s core concept of democratic fashion for everyone, regardless of their body or wallet size. This makes me appreciate working at XLNT that bit more.
I have fantastic colleagues and a fantastic team, where everyone is great at what they do. As a designer, I see myself as something of a team catalyst. I get the ball rolling and then pass it on to the next person for adjustments and refinements. I give the idea wings, but the whole team helps it to fly to its destination.”
"No day is ever the same and it's all very fast paced"
Name: Sara Schönborg.
Job title: Buyer at KappAhl head office. Educated in textile economics.
Interests: Seeing friends, sewing, working out and mucking around in my garden.
What inspires me: "Everything! People, blogs, magazines."
My style: "My style depends on my mood. I love to have an accessory that stands out."
"Working as a buyer suits me as I love the creative part of being part of deciding what the KappAhl products will look like, and I also like working with numbers.
I plan the selection with my designer, count the volumes, negotiate with various suppliers and decide who will produce the products. I also decide when the products are to go out to stores and how much they will cost. You need to be able to juggle a lot of things at the same time!
As a buyer you have to be creative, flexible, handle stress well and be able to come up with new solutions and to rethink when something doesn't work out the way you wanted it to. Because that will definitely happen!
I'm in contact with suppliers abroad on a daily basis and travel quite a bit, for example to our production offices in Bangladesh, India and China where I meet with suppliers and co-workers. I also travel to see new trends and get inspiration for future collections.
The job is very varied. No day is ever the same, it's a very fast paced environment and I'm constantly learning new things. It's a great feeling when something you have believed in turns out to be a great success. That's like a receipt for having done a good job.
Seeing someone in the street wearing an item that you have created is very inspiring."
"I see every customer as a friend who needs help"
Name: Petteri Nyman.
Job title: Sales Assistant at KappAhl in Finland.
Interests: Watching football, working out, running.
What inspires me: "Helping customers to find the right item of clothing and seeing how grateful they are."
My style: Preppy casual. "I like our Hampton Republic 27 collection."
"I love my job as a sales assistant! I like to dress well and look great. I always have, and now I get to work with that on a daily basis.
I'm good with people and I like to talk and have a laugh. A great tip is to think of each customer as a friend who needs help. For example, I recently helped a customer who was looking for something to wear for a dinner party. She was looking for something very last minute and was incredibly happy with the clothes that I suggested. Getting positive feedback from customers means the world to me – it's really great to see how happy they are when they find the right clothes.
As a sales assistant it's important to be flexible. You have to always be willing to drop whatever you are doing to help a customer. Restocking the store can be done later, but our customers should be helped immediately!
We are a great team working together in the store and we have many lovely customers. Every day is different to the next – there's no typical day at work when you are a sales assistant. We often hear from customers that they like KappAhl's prices and great service. That's the reason why they come back over and over."
As a sales assistant it's important to be flexible. Restocking can be done later, but our customers should be helped immediately!
"I knew early on that I wanted to work with clothes – and to be a manager!"
Name: Pernilla Thorsell.
Job title: Store Manager at KappAhl in Stockholm.
Interests: Spending time with family, travelling and sports. "I love football!"
What inspires me: "Making people happy."
My style: "My style changes up a little bit each season – it might be something sleek like a blazer and skirt, or something more rock chic."
"As store manager, every day is different to the next and you have to be prepared for anything: Being HR manager, sales assistant, visual merchandiser – basically helping out wherever needed.
It's great freedom and responsibility at the same time. I've always been interested in fashion, ever since I was a child and started making clothes. I knew early on that I wanted to work with clothes in a store – and that I wanted to be manger! I love selling and providing service and I'm inspired by working with people.
I started working as a sales assistant when I was 20, and since then I've also worked as visual merchandiser and now store manager. Hard work does pay off – it's created my success. The possibilities to develop are high at KappAhl and that's why I have stayed so long.
I've taken the internal course that KappAhl offer to future store managers. That has developed my leadership skills and finance knowledge and it's strengthened me as a person and as a leader. If I have great energy and create a happy atmosphere at work, my staff pick up on that. The last couple of years I've been a mentor to other store managers. It's great to be able to help others and it has also developed my skills.
I've taken the internal course that KappAhl offer to future store managers. It has strengthened me as a person and as a leader.
"I really like my job – I'm a visual merchandiser and sales assistant all at the same time!"
Name: Agnieszka Bartoszek-Świerzak.
Job title: Visual merchandiser at KappAhl in Poland.
Interests: Craft work and styling.
What inspires me: "I want to learn from the best to be even better at what I do!"
My style: "I love KappAhl's jeans , and I have many pairs in different styles."
"A visual merchandiser should be passionate, creative, ambitious, flexible and communicative. That's something I strive for both in my professional life and my personal life.
I really like my job – I show the products and sell them all at the same time you could say.
I'm always looking for new, efficient ways to increase sales, which means it's important how we display the products.
I plan the environment in the store so that it's as appealing as possible. I know what products should be changed around, what new things are on their way and how to display them. It's important to create the right combinations of clothes on the mannequins so that it's easy to shop and inspire the customers.
My career at KappAhl started when they opened a new store here in Zgorzelec in Poland. I came with a friend who was going for an interview so I took my CV with me, in case I got the opportunity to introduce myself. A week later I got a job offer! I started as a sales assistant and it wasn't long until I was promoted to visual merchandiser. I enjoyed being a sales assistant but I would always watch the work of the visual merchandisers.
It was interesting to see how much the customers were impacted to buy, depending on how the visual merchandisers placed the products around the store and how they styled the mannequins. When I was chosen to attend KappAhl's training course for future visual merchandisers, it was really a dream come true!"
"Having a large network in different countries is so much fun"
Name: Anders Tandberg.
Job title: Business controller at KappAhl head office in Norway.
Interests: Seeing my family and the outdoors.
What inspires me: "Seeing the results of the work that we do."
My style: "Well I'm an economist so I wear a lot of blue shirts. I like our Hampton Republic 27 collection."
"I like to work with numbers and people, so my job as business controller really suits me.
I work with all of KappAhls's stores in Norway and I help develop their budgets and follow up on key figures. For example if a store doesn't meet the expected sales development targets, we take a look at why that might be. What does the store look like? Do they not have enough stock? Do they have too much stock?
We look at the stores in Norway in all areas of business, analyse issues and give support to solve them. We are a small organisation here at the office in Fredrikstad, so the work load is very varied.
During the years I've worked at KappAhl my interest for retail has increased. I've learned a lot about our industry and what's important to KappAhl's business. Even those of us that don't work in the stores always have their focus on the needs and interests of the customers.
In my job I am in contact with store managers on a daily basis, and also with area managers and co-workers in other countries. Meeting a lot of people and having a large network in many different countries is great fun and very inspiring. KappAhl is a work place where you develop."