Jula has made a fantastic journey from the early days of mail-order sales on a farm in Västergötland to today’s presence with a large number of department stores in Sweden, Norway, and Poland. The owner and CEO Karl-Johan Blank, together with the rest of the group management, has continued the work of developing and refining the family business based on values like long-term perspective, entrepreneurship, customer experience, and a wide product range.
The ambition to constantly develop and create more value for customers meant that Jula saw the value of having a presence in China at an early stage, which is the main market for product development and manufacturing. Together with Business Sweden, they created an early physical presence in China, to be able to work closely with their partners with both sourcing and quality as well as sustainability-related issues.
Jula has also worked with a long-term, well-thought-out strategy in distribution and logistics. Among other things, it has led to innovative solutions, such as moving transport from trucks to trains. The introduction of a new logistics workflow resulted in approximately 5,000 annual transports between Gothenburg and Skara being transferred to freight trains. For this, they received the award Logistics Innovation of the Year at the Retail Awards when it was first awarded in 2014. Since then, work with rail transport has continued, including the purchase of the dry port in Falköping 2018. Here, the subsidiary Jula Logistics has built on the availability of tracks, and also made them available to other companies.
We want to highlight how Jula has continuously updated and refined its work with transports and product flows as an outstanding example of what is required for succeeding as a Manufacturing Retail Hybrid.