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Style, innovation & equality

Online retail pioneer teams up with leading Italian premium brands for a special capsule

We speak to entrepreneur Henning Källqvist, who’s taken his well-curated e-com from the small textile city of Borås in Sweden to a much bigger, yet picky, audience.

Words: Johan Magnusson

Källqvist is a former Buying Director within a big online retailer of home electronics, but with a true passion for high quality menswear. In 2010 he could not find what I was I was looking for, neither online or offline, and realized that there were probably other people with the same desire for clothes.

— That was the birth of Care of Carl, he says.

The idea, he continues, is pretty simple; offering men the opportunity to build a wardrobe and personal style by providing carefully selected quality brands online.

— We want our customers to know that we care beyond their expectations by adding great value through our devotion to customer service and shopping experience. On top of that we want to have a personal connection with our customers which we can have through social media, email, phone calls and, perhaps most importantly, our online magazine Carl Magazine.

5 years ago they launched the ”Italian Department” with top quality brands, such as Incotex, Boglioli, and Barba Napoli. To celebrate the anniversary, they’ve worked together on an exclusive limited collection now available online.

— It (the collection) reflects the most popular garments sold in the department throughout the years. It’s traditional and formal garments, produced in the highest quality. Flannel trousers from Incotex with turn ups and soft blazers with patch pockets from Boglioli. Oxford shirts from Barba Napoli with hand-sewn shoulders and pointed collars, accompanied by handmade ties by E.Marinella. Not inventing the wheel again, but rather celebrating iconic wardrobe staples, made to last a very long time.

What do you think about the future of physical retail and online retail?

— 9 years ago when we started it was basically not possible to buy quality menswear online in the Nordics, Källqvist explains, adding: Today perhaps 10-15% are buying online but the majority of customers still buy in physical stores. In our segment we have seen several physical stores that have closed down due to the tough competition. I think that the move from offline to online just have started. On top of that the online shopping experience today is still quite similar to the one 9 years ago. Free shipping, fast deliveries, great service and basically the same technology with the exception that you use your mobile instead. When technology will start to improve the shopping experience, the online retail will be even stronger. However, I still think that the physical meeting is really important, to meet, to communicate and discover new things.

And what will you do to continue to stand out?

— This autumn we are extra proud that we offer Brunello Cuccinelli in our assortment. We have been inspired by them for several years and we are proud to finally be able to offer it. We will continue to improve our curated assortment with new and exciting brands, which is our core. We also want to improve the shopping experience for our customers by making it easier to discover new brands, improve their wardrobe and find the right size and fit. Here the online store still has a big disadvantage compared to physical stores. Regarding expansion we still believe that there are more customers out there that haven’t discovered the advantages to shop with us and we want to reach those customers. Today we reach customers in the Nordic region, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and since a year back also in Finland but we believe that there is an interest for Care of Carl outside the Nordics as well.