Lindström – creating an international leader in workwear service


Category: All International growth - client case

Keywords: Client case, Finland, International Growth Case, Lindström, Market entry


Lindström – creating an international leader in workwear service

Lindström is a Finnish family-owned textile services company and another long-term client of Excedea. We started our cooperation in 2011 and have since performed half a dozen projects covering 25 emerging markets. In this article, we present Lindström’s thought-out market entry strategy and take a look at what lies behind the company’s ambitious plan to grow to one new country per year.

Spearhead service

From its service portfolio Lindström had chosen workwear-as-a-service to be the spearhead for its market entry. This meant supplying exactly the right quantity of workwear (same amount as last time, more or less), cleaning, repairing and replacing it. Entering the new markets with workwear service had several advantages:

– Workwear is Lindstrom’s core business, and in the 25 countries analysed Excedea never came across a company, which would have offered workwear outsourcing.

– Using workwear service increases employee satisfaction and improves corporate image.

– Workwear management is typically not a core area for companies and once the benefits of workwear outsourcing service were explained, many companies became interested.

Projects together

The Lindström-Excedea projects were always identical: Excedea performed macro analysis and interviewed decision makers from local factories in 2-6 countries at a time. Excedea created a picture of the business environment based on GDP, inflation, stage of development, competitiveness, FDI, ease of doing business, risk rating, regulations, etc. The company interviews focused on how local manufacturing companies handled workwear:

(!) Employees come to work wearing their own clothes.

(2) Employer provides workwear, and employees take care of cleaning and repairing.

(3) Employer provides the workwear and is also responsible for washing and repairing.

(4) Employer buys in the washing service for workwear.

(5) The company has outsourced its workwear management.

According to Mika Hartikainen, Senior Vice President Europe and Asia, Lindström’s secret for being able to expand rapidly is a standardized, easily scalable service concept.

Mr. Hartikainen has mentioned that Lindström chose Excedea as its partner because of the knowledgeable personnel in both Finland and at the target markets. As a result of Lindström and Excedea teams actively cooperating during 2011-2015, Lindström decided to enter Croatia, Serbia, Kazakhstan and South-Korea out of the 25 analysed markets.

Lindström Excedea International growth map

Check other Excedea references here.

If your company needs support in the new market entry, contact Mikael Orkomies, Excedea Senior Partner 


About the company

Lindström is one of Europe’s leading textile service companies with 170 years of experience in the textile services industry. The company offers textile service solutions for B2B customers.

Lindström’s 2018 turnover was 387 MEUR. The company currently employs 4300 people in 24 countries.

Lindström’s task is to strengthen the corporate image of the customers and make everyday life easier with the help of the services company provides. The textile services are a cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly way of taking care of a company’s textile needs.

For more information on how Excedea has contributed to the international growth of other companies, have a look at other cases here.

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