Markslöjd

Since the mid-1990s, Markslöjd has transformed from a financially troubled company to one of Northern Europe’s leading lighting companies. Revenue has increased tenfold, and through continuous improvements, profitability continues to grow.

Founded

1963

Employees

92

Revenue MSEK

256

Bright Ideas and a Long-Term Strategy

40 years after its inception, the lights from Markslöjd shine brightly. A business that was on the brink of fading away in the 1990s has become a success story with Vätterledens Invest as its owner. This success required creativity, perseverance, and a long-term effort.

Markslöjd is one of Northern Europe’s leading lighting companies with a revenue of approximately 300 million SEK. Today, they offer lighting for both indoor and outdoor use, and they have a strong presence in various types of Christmas lighting.

A business on the brink
However, this wasn’t the case in the early 1990s. The company, originally founded in 1963, had a business model where they had local turneries produce wooden lamp bases, while Markslöjd themselves manufactured lampshades. With a declining market for wooden lamps and the opening of trade with China, at that time, the only tangible value was in the property itself.

At Vätterledens Invest, they saw opportunities to transform the business. They acquired Markslöjd and recruited Kenny Carlsson as CEO, who had experience in manufacturing lighting in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Focus on Christmas
1997 marked the start of the new Markslöjd with a renewed focus on Christmas products. Jobs lost in local manufacturing were replaced with new positions in warehousing and administration.
“We developed indoor and outdoor lighting and shifted production to the Far East,” Kenny explains. In parallel, a significant effort was put into establishing the new Markslöjd brand, including advertising on Swedish TV.
“It was a very exciting time, but it also required investments. Vätterledens Invest showed that they were willing to invest for the company’s growth.”

Growth and consolidation
Over the years, Markslöjd experienced significant growth, with ambitions at one point to establish itself as a global lighting company with sales worldwide. However, during the 2008 financial crisis, the decision was made to change the strategy and consolidate the business with a greater focus on nearby markets. In tandem, a leadership generational shift took place, with Kenny Carlsson handing over the reins to the new CEO, Daniel Petersson.

A two-phase journey
From an entrepreneurial, dynamically creative startup, Markslöjd transitioned into a more professionally managed entity with a focus on optimizing operations.
“The development of Markslöjd can be seen as a two-phase journey. In the first phase, we built a significant sales volume, and in the second, we created profitability by organizing the structural aspects,” says Daniel Petersson, who served as the CEO of Markslöjd from 2010 to 2016.

 

“Both the owners and management have done a really great job at Markslöjd.”

Kenny Carlsson, former CEO of Markslöjd

Since 2017, Daniel has been the CEO of the parent company Vätterledens Invest, and with the same vision of professionalization that has created profitability for Markslöjd, he now works to support and develop other subsidiary companies.

Strong development
Since Vätterledens Invest acquired Markslöjd in 1994, revenue has increased from 30 to 300 million SEK. From its origins in the 1960s with turned lamp bases, Markslöjd now offers lamps in all sorts of materials and has established itself as a trend-sensitive player in lighting and interior design.
Kenny Carlsson, who continued as a board member after his years as CEO, has closely witnessed Markslöjd’s transformation over the years.
“I’m impressed by them. Both the owners and the management have done a really great job at Markslöjd,” says Kenny Carlsson.

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