Tommy Søndergaard is a professional farmer and worked with assembling and servicing milking machines until 2009 when his dream of becoming self-employed came true. Initially, he sold and serviced garden machinery and trailers from home on his farm in Spjald, Denmark while continuing his work with milking machines on a freelance basis.
By chance, Tommy was offered about 2,200 pieces of leftover workwear stock from a supplier. He accepted the offer, and the workwear was sold via guloggratis.dk online marketplace, QXL, and elsewhere and was dispatched with handwritten labels.
In February 2010, Tommy established the “Outdoor Supply” online store selling machines and clothing. Unfortunately, no customers could say, spell, or even remember “Outdoor Supply”, so that name didn’t work very well.
Eventually, Tommy made deals with some major brands such as Kansas and Ocean. And, acting on advice from the local chamber of commerce, the online store was split in two, so the clothing could be sold separately. This was the starting point for Cheap-workwear.com.
In March 2011, Tommy hired his first employee, and sales began to take off. Over the next few years, a few more employees joined the payroll, and suddenly the interest in clothing sales began to outweigh the garden machinery element.
The garden machinery element was sold off, and sales were now based exclusively on workwear which had a turnover of DKK 2.8 million in 2012.
Eventually, Tommy’s farm ran out of space, so he began working on obtaining permission to expand his storage space. Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality asked what the extra space was to be used for because they could not see any businesses registered at Tommy’s farm. This had not been considered at all as the company expanded. The old livestock housing units did not quite live up to the required standards for fire evacuation routes, staff conditions, and toilets, but the employees were very happy anyway.
In May 2014, Tommy received permission to build at Ølstrupvej 2A which is our address today. The location by Highway 11 was perfect in terms of traffic and visibility.
When the new location was ready in September, all the employees plus their spouses and partners helped move the warehouse inventory despite torrential rain and cloudbursts.
The only downfall was, the 1000 m2 of storage space filled up way too fast! As a result, Tommy’s farm became a storage buffer for the warehouse while construction plans for hall number two were set in motion.
Hall two was finished in October 2015 with an additional 1000 m2 of storage space.
We earned our first Børsen newspaper’s Gazelle Award this year. The Gazelle Award is given to fast-growing companies who have at least doubled their turnover within a four-year period. We have now won six Gazelle Awards in a row.
The story of the cramped storage space continued to repeat itself, so Tommy had to rent another 600 m2 of buffer storage in another location. In September, the Swedish online store Billiga-arbeidskläder.se and the English online store Cheap-workwear.com were launched.
The office and warehouse space gradually continued to fill up which led to new construction plans. In February 2017, the ground was broken for a 2000 m2 high-rise warehouse and a 300 m2 office. The old office was converted into a canteen, and the kitchen was expanded. Now all the employees could eat at the same time. In September 2017, the new building was presented with a grand opening reception and a tour of the new facilities.
Turnover reached DKK 69 million where the Swedish market accounted for 20%.
The NewTurn brand was “born” and the development of promotional wear for business began.
At this time, the number of employees had reached 55. The old webshop was outdated and ready for an upgrade, so Cheap-workwear.com moved to a more up-to-date version on a new platform. An online store was also established in the Norwegian market called Billige-Arbeidsklær.no.
In October 2019, the first promotional wear from Workwear Group’s own brand NewTurn was sold in the online store.
The German online store was launched under the name Günstige-Arbeitskleidung.de.
In addition, the WestBorn brand of workwear, outdoor clothing, and clothing for leisure use was launched as another new brand under the Workwear Group. WestBorn clothing is sold exclusively on Billig-arbejdstøj.dk, Billiga-arbetsklader.se, Cheap-workwear.com, Billige-arbeidsklær.no, and Günstige-Arbeitskleidung.de.
In autumn 2020, a 2,000 square-metre, fully automated warehouse was completed, with 40 robots and 8 staffed packing stations to pack the orders. With this robotic system, the processing speed increased many times, and orders are now being packed and parcels are sent every day of the week.
Image Kompagniet, founded in 1999, was acquired and added to the Workwear Group to strengthen the production of its own clothing brands. Image Kompagniet’s brand Pitch Stone is sold through dealers and on Billig-arbeidstøj.dk, Billiga-arbetsklader.se, Cheap-workwear.com, billig-arbeidsklær.no, and Günstige-Arbeitskleidung.de.
Embroidery machines were purchased and professionally trained personnel were employed to operate them, making it possible to embroider logos on promotional wear and workwear in-house. This reduced the processing time required for company clothing with a logo.
As the company outgrew its staff facility, an extra floor was added for the administration, as well as a new, spacious canteen that would eventually accommodate company’s 100 employees.