The key to our success has always been our passion.

About us

Varner is one of Scandinavia’s leading textile companies, with close to 11000 employees. Our 1500 stores represent us in eight countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, Germany and Austria.

Varner is comprised of the concepts A-Z, Bik Bok, Carlings, Cubus, Days Like This, Dressmann, Dressmann XL, Urban, Vivikes, Volt, Wow, Levi’s Store, Nike Store and Denim & Supply.

Frank Varner founded the privately owned family business in 1962, which is now owned by the second and third generation, and led by Petter, Marius, and Joakim Varner.

Our values

Our company’s culture is exceedingly important – no matter where you work in Varner. We strive to ensure that everybody at Varner looks forward to going to work every single day, and make our customers and stores our first priority. Together we can achieve fantastic results!

Varner places great emphasis on its company values, and people are always at the centre of our attention.

  • Businessminded
  • Passion
  • Make it easy
  • Friendship
  • Happiness
  • Responsible

 

OUR HISTORY

Frank Varner opened his first store on Thorvald Meyersgate in Grünerløkka, Oslo, in 1962. The store was named “Frank Varner” and became a huge success. Three years later, yet another store opened in Oslo and another in Trondheim. In 1967, the name Dressmann was launched in connection with a new store opening on Skippergata in Oslo. The rest is history. Dressmann stores subsequently opened at a record pace all over the country.

  • Acquisitions and development

    During the ensuing years Frank Varner sought further growth. At the beginning of the 1980s, the takeover of the stock exchange listed company Jonas Øglænd AS commenced. This was a conglomerate group whose business activities included a bicycle factory, a work-clothing manufacturer, an insurance agency, property development and Norway’s largest textile retail chain: the family concept Cubus. 
    In 1989, Varner acquired an owner’s share of more than 90 percent in Jonas Øglænd AS, which thereby became a subsidiary of Varner. The companies that did not naturally fit in with Varner’s activities were gradually sold off. 
    In 1985, the first Carlings store opened on Storgata. The goal was to be the largest Levi’s distributor in Oslo. The jeans concept became a success and while Carlings opened increasingly more stores in Norwegian cities throughout the 1980s, Dressmann was in the process of becoming one of the largest retailers in the country.
    Dressmann brought in substantial revenues through efficient operations, cost control and in particular, a high sales volume.

  • New chains and concepts

    In 1991, the company Bik Bok was purchased. Three years later, in 1994, the retail chain Vivikes was made a part of Varner. Varner is now represented in the low-price market for men, the volume market for the family, and with a jeans concept for boys, a fashion concept for girls and elegant clothing for women. 

    In 1995, Petter and Marius Varner take over the management of the company and the development of Varner continues in their hands. In 1996, they acquire the Swedish clothing chain Hagenfeldt and establish the hypermarket concept Wearhouse to acquire a stronger hold on the volume market. In 2001, Varner enters a new market through the acquisition of Urban – a lifestyle store with roots in the skateboard and snowboard scene.

  • Further expansion

    In 2006, the chains WOW and Volt were established. Volt focuses on boys and men between 19-35 years of age, who want clothing that represents both fashion and lifestyle, while the WOW concept offers girls 8-15 years of age everything they desire in the way of clothing and accessories. In 2007, the time was ripe for further expansion, this time through the acquistion of the Swedish retailer Solo. Solo supplies Swedish men with high-quality brand jeans and other clothing and now has 13 stores in Sweden.

  • Internationalisation

    Along with the continual establishment of new chains and stores, Varner has become increasingly international. In 2015, Varner is represented in 8 countries. The largest markets outside of Norway are Sweden and Finland.