Fristads Kansas Deutschland GmbH is the German sales subsidiary of the Scandinavian workwear manufacturer Fristads Kansas Group. The Group’s origins go back to the Swedish company Fristads established in 1925 and the Danish company Kansas founded in 1950 – both producers of hard-wearing clothes for hard-working people.
“Fristads Kansas Germany was set up in 1980, originally as a sales office for Kansas,” explains Christian Peipers, Managing Director of the Group’s German sales operation in Norderstedt near Hamburg. Besides Norderstedt, there is a second operation in Germany: Clinic Dress in Osnabrück, which specializes in fashionable workwear for professionals in the health sector.
Between 2012 and 2017, Fristads and Kansas merged, creating one of the strongest workwear brands in Northern Europe. In 2017/2018, a brand split was implemented and the companies belonging to the Group in the different European countries opted for a main brand to operate under. In Germany, this is Kansas. Headquartered in Borås in southwestern Sweden, the Group employs 1,600 people today and generates annual revenues of 400 million EUR. With operations in more than 20 countries, Fristads Kansas Group ranks among the leading European suppliers of high-performance workwear and sets the standard for quality, durability and comfort.
In addition to Fristads and Kansas, the Group includes several other hard-wearing brands, such as Acode, B & C, Bragard, Clinic Dress, Hejco, Leijona, Martinson, Sverre W Monsen and Wenaas. The comprehensive brand portfolio is complemented by tailor-made, corporate workwear collections for individual customers. The product range comprises all types of clothing, ranging from aprons, caps, coats and jackets to shirts, socks, trousers and underwear. It is rounded off by a wide selection of accessories, including bags, belts, gloves, knee protection devices and many other useful products.
“We offer a complete range of high-quality, functional and comfortable workwear with contemporary Scandinavian design, innovative safety features and manufactured in a sustainable way,” Mr. Peipers describes the mission.
In Germany, Kansas operates in a highly competitive market. “There are many respected manufacturers, but Scandinavian-style workwear with its strong heritage in weatherproof, durable clothing has always been very popular among professionals in a broad range of industrial sectors,” says Mr. Peipers.
Kansas supplies its products to construction firms, industrial clients, municipalities, airports and many other customers demanding the highest quality and safety standards. Some of its best-known customers include the power supplier Vattenfall, Munich Airport and the leading producer of fertilizers and deicing salt K+S. Kansas workwear is more than just hard-wearing clothing products, as Mr. Peipers points out: “They are highly functional solutions designed, manufactured and certified according to the relevant safety and protection norms.”
The company even offers a special multi-norm range which meets all requirements: weather protection, fire proofing, high visibility and electrostatic protection. Kansas distributes its workwear through specialized retailers, and up until now, the company’s brand communication has been very much oriented to its dealer partners.
“In the future, we want to focus more on enhancing our brand reputation with the user and on shaping the individual profile of our two core brands: Fristads and Kansas,” states Mr. Peipers. “The goal is to position Kansas as one of the best-known workwear brands in the German market, a brand which everyone knows comes from Scandinavia and which makes you feel safe, comfortable and also stylish.”