Hunting has a long tradition in Scandinavia and is a popular pastime for many people. There are more than 700,000 active hunters in Scandinavia as well as many more in the rest of Europe. “Much of the appeal of hunting comes not just from the thrill of the chase but from the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors being close to nature,” enthuses Managing Director Bent Rasmussen.
As the weather in the great outdoors can be unpredictable, it is wise to prepare for the worst with the appropriate clothing and equipment. This is where Seeland International excels. It is well known for its clothing and footwear brands Seeland and Härkila, and also offers a range of accessories and hardware that includes backpacks, gun cases, a quick connect system for attaching gear, and water pouches.
Other branded products distributed by the company are Optimic and Fontaine binoculars, Buck knives and Decoy hunting accessories. The Seeland and Härkila brands both emphasize comfort and functionality. Härkila is positioned at the top end of the market while Seeland seeks to offer value for money.
“Through a combination of product quality and targeted marketing, we have succeeded in carving out a significant share of the hunting market,” says Mr. Rasmussen. “We are one of the biggest players in the market and are stocked in more than 2,000 stores in Europe.”
Seeland was established in Denmark in 1976 and focused from the beginning on supplying the hunting industry. In the 1980s the company renamed itself Seeland International and later bought the rights to the Swedish outdoor brand Härkila to complement its own Seeland brand.
International activities began in the 1990s, and exports have grown steadily to account for more than 75% of sales today. “Despite the strong growth of recent years, we have been able to stick to our principles of quality and are very proud to have the support of our motivated and professional employees,” says Mr. Rasmussen.
In a traditional niche such as hunting, the pace of change is quite slow. Nevertheless, Seeland International’s recent success shows that it is also a growing market.
“We are also looking to stimulate trends in the forest and farming industries and among dog handlers,” adds Mr. Rasmussen. “Our Decoy range of hunting accessories also has items for dog owners, which will help lead them to our two clothing brands.”
The potential is certainly there for Seeland International to break out of its niche and appeal to an even wider audience.