In the spring of 1914, a number of representatives from different industries gathered – cheese suppliers, herring suppliers, coffee suppliers and milk suppliers just to name a few. In the light of the approaching World War I, the government were concerned about the main food supply and talked about the possibility of having to impose restrictions and in some cases completely nationalize some commodity groups. The industry representatives recognized the importance of solidarity and at that meeting they established Trade Partner Sweden. Negotiations began with the government at the highest level together with the Trade Minister and they came to an agreement, although not completely satisfactory. The collaboration with the Trade Ministry continued for many years and had a major impact, not only during the First, but also during the Second World War.
A new period of structure and organization in a spirit of cooperation began after the two world wars. Trade Partner Sweden expanded into new industries. For example, the textile and clothing sectors quickly became major operators. A special fund for “Dependent widows” was also created. The agents, who in those days almost always were men, were away from their homes for long periods and was subject to many dangers. It was not only the risk of assault and robbery that was imminent, but also the risk of serious illnesses. It sometimes happened that the agent never returned home to his wife and kids, who suddenly was without means. The fund for “needy widows” was then in good stead. Today, society looks completely different and the fund is now an annual scholarship for further education to members.
End of the 20th century
Association of Trade Partners Sweden has evolved into a modern association with the mission to create the best possible conditions for the members. By being visionary and open-minded Trade Partners Sweden are the partner that many companies lack and need for their businesses to develop and become successful. At this time a new structure is developed together with members from different industries. New important trade platforms are establish in collaboration with the members, such as Nordic Shoe & Bag Fair, buying days in Varberg and Nordic Fabric Fair. Internationally, Trade Partners Sweden are active through the umbrella organization IUCAB (International Union of Commercial Agents and Brokers) when it comes to influencing international law propositions and promoting members’ interests.
The early 2000s
The fair Preview Fabrics & Accessories is launched as a compliment to Nordic Fabric Fair in Borås after a request from the industry to see new fabrics in an earlier stage during the season and in Stockholm. Important questions for the members during this period are the entry of new digital tools and platforms on the markets and the requirement to meet suppliers more frequently during the seasons. In 2009 a new dynamic venue for the shoe-, bag – and textile industry is inaugurated in Nacka Strand, At the same time Stockholm Shoe House a trade house with showrooms for the shoe industry is opened.
Trade Partners Sweden turn 100 years, which is celebrated at Berns Salonger in Stockholm with a luncheon for all member companies and partners. After requests from both international and Swedish fashion brands the idea and plan of creating a new fashion district in Nacka Strand is started.
Stockholm Fashion District is founded. It is a creative, vibrant and innovative district for the Swedish fashion industry. With its location in Nacka strand, Stockholm Fashion District is a hub for business as well as creativity with showrooms, trade fairs, buying days, production and pop up events. In conjunction with the opening of Stockholm Fashion District, Stockholm Showroom a 10 000 sqm building with permanent showrooms for the
fashion industry is launched. Here brands from all over the world can meet to promote new collections, make purchases and build networks.
Association of Trade Partners Sweden, formerly Agenturföretagen in Swedish, take their international name in Sweden as well. The purpose is to reflect how the trade relationship has evolved into partnerships. The member companies of today are agents, designers, distributors, importers and suppliers that operate in a variety of industries. The common thing is that they are all an important trading partner.
The future of Trade Partners Sweden
The way we trade and where we trade have undergone major changes during the recent years. The digitalization is one of the substantial reasons to this and whether you like it or not, it is important to understand the large impact it has on why eller how we do business. For us at the Association of Trade Partners Sweden it is important to constantly look forward and outward. By having a visionary stance, we increase the opportunities for our members future to be profitable and successful.