25 years of furniture
The nineties was a remarkable decade. The Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys were taking the world by storm, Michael Jordan won eight NBA titles, Friends was a global hit and Budweiser said “Whassup” for the first time. We had AOL, The Matrix, The Nintendo 64 and in 1995, we got ScanCom.
Like all great success stories, it started with modest beginnings, some big dreams, hard work, and for ScanCom, a 40ft container full of chairs. ScanCom first started shipping products from Vietnam in 1995. Back then, things were different; we were based out of Boje Bendtzen’s basement and worked with Vietnamese factories to make our furniture. A strength and practice we have perfected and still do to this day with our partner manufacturers. Our product focus was wood and in the 90s, this was THE product of desire and its popularity ensured that it sold well throughout all of Europe. Our first wooden product was the Windsor folding chair – a piece that remained in production for almost 15 years!
Our collection then expanded to include steel in ‘99. The inherent strength of steel makes it an ideal product for contract business with hotels and restaurants. Also, combined with our steel mesh, it has a unique industrial look that is popular in almost any market and remains incredibly contemporary today. Some of our first products, like Uranus and Vega, are still in production – their simple yet durable designs make them timeless pieces and an easy choice for the hospitality industry.
In response to the rising demand for teak wood products, ScanCom Indonesia opened in Java, supplying products to Europe and all over the world. Products of this era benefited from the hand-carving skills of local craftsmen and these details adorned many of our early products. As time went on and trends changed, this look was replaced by a slicker, less intricate design – very much aligned with our Scandinavian roots.
We continued to work within our supply chain to develop new products to serve the insatiable hunger of the European market with wooden outdoor furniture. The late nineties saw our first period of sustained growth as a result and this was when we first consolidated our position as a global leader in the industry. By the end of the decade, Y2K represented a leap into not only a new millennium but also a leap for ScanCom into a whole new world of possibilities.
In 2001, as Justin Timberlake replaced Backstreet Boys and as picture tube TVs were turning into flat-screen TVs, we launched our own synthetic wicker, which we called Petan®. We had early success with the material in the form of our Tonga chair; a steel chair finished with hand-woven Petan®. We’ve seen many iterations over the years and, similar to the Spice Girls, it made a comeback recently and its iconic shape can still be seen in production today.
We soon followed up on this development and expanded our facilities to include aluminium. A material group which we are incredibly strong in, churning out hugely successful products like our Italica stacking chair and Vera Sofa. Now, our annual output is 1.3 million aluminium products per year.
As part of a dedicated drive towards sustainability, we brought in our Formwood® products in 2009 as a product group that utilizes waste from our wood production facility, by bending and twisting it into unique, functional items. Most notable and recognizable are the Lynton and Manhattan families which are still proving popular today. That’s without mentioning that the material is up to 30% stronger than the wood it is crafted from!
At the beginning of the decade just past, 2011 started with one of our most successful product innovations. Duraboard® was launched as a super competitive and revolutionary material for outdoor table tops, using a unique combination of sawdust from our factory along with resin to create a durable and sustainable material of the highest quality. This material can be seen on all of our non-wood table tops today and is part of our contribution to a more sustainable and innovative future.
In 2015, with our past experience and successes with wood, aluminium and steel under our belt, we expanded to include plastic, which provided ScanCom with the full house of material groups. With this range of materials at our disposal, we were free to be creative, adaptive and innovative, while at the same time staying true to our ethos of sustainability and responsibility. We launched plastic with the Inamo chair, which was an instant success with IKEA and we’ve since sold millions to the big-box retailer. As the years have gone on, we have continued to push the boundaries of design in plastic. We successfully introduced the Antibes and Cannes chairs, which are sold all over the European continent in equal measure. All of this before we even took our recent huge step into recycled plastics with DuraOcean® and DuraLand®!
We have invested consistently in factories and in the exploration of trends over the years, allowing us to create some new, soon to be iconic products like the Ipanema, the Clemente, the Barry and the Dalgas. If the 25 years of experience we have has taught us one thing, it is that we have a history of driving successes, pushing limits and being innovative and responsible – and from where we stand today, the next great leap towards 50 years is sure to only build on this!