About Svensk Handel
Svensk Handel (Swedish Trade Federation) is the employers’ organisation serving the entire trade and commerce sector. We represent commercial enterprises on issues concerning employment and economic policy. Svensk Handel is tasked with creating the best trading conditions for commercial enterprises both large and small.
Svensk Handel is the largest member organisation within Swedish trade and industry. Our organisation unites in excess of 11 000 member companies with around 300 000 employees, active across various branches of retail and wholesale trade. In addition to large member companies (such as IKEA, H&M and ICA) we also count among our roster small and mid-sized enterprises, and chains (such as Intersport, Stadium and Lindex).
With a total of 100 employees, Svensk Handel is represented at seven locations nationwide.
Today, the industry employs approximately half a million people, and turns 11 percent of Sweden's GDP. Commerce is unquestionably a sector with considerable significance for the national economy.
Every commercial enterprise is welcome to become a member of Svensk Handel. Our members benefit from a wide range of support and services to help them in their daily business. They also gain access to a broad suite of membership benefits, including insurance, reduced card processing charges and support in the event of legal disputes.
Svensk Handel – how we work
Svensk Handel acts to improve conditions in the industry by:
- maintaining industrial peace;
- lobbying decision makers and formers of opinion;
- contributing towards reduced costs for member companies;
- providing advice and services.
Svensk Handel acts for a world featuring free trade with no barriers. We also seek to highlight the importance of import, ease the regulatory burden on companies and increase state investment in training and research. Moreover, we strive to reduce card and cash processing charges.
Svensk Handel acts as the employers' party within the industry, tasked with negotiating and reaching collective agreements with trade unions. Today, we have about 20 central collective agreements in force with 12 different trade unions. The three major agreements are Detaljhandelsavtalet (the Retail Trade Agreement), Partihandelsavtalet (the Wholesale Trade Agreement) and Tjänstemannaavtalet (the Officials' Agreement). These collective agreements regulate wages and employment conditions for thousands of employees.
Svensk Handel provides an employers' service, providing assistance with labour law, contract issues, human resources issues, negotiation, process and training. Each day, we handle employment law enquiries regarding forms of employment, leave and disputes, for example.
Svensk Handel Legal provides our members with a business law service covering everything from rental enquiries, marketing law, company types, contract law, consumer law, competition law to issues around transferral of company ownership.
Reduced card processing charges
Taking payment efficiently is a priority area for a commercial enterprise. Today, large numbers of small commercial enterprises lose a significant share of their earnings through card processing charges, while large companies regularly pay sums in the millions to banks and other service providers. Svensk Handel works strategically in order to reduce card processing costs, and achieve more straightforward, secure transactions. We can even negotiate a customised redemption agreement – a popular membership benefit. Svensk Handel actively monitors the development of new technologies and presents advantageous offers to member companies.
Svensk Handel works actively to combat crime. We field enquiries relating to crime control, security services, crime statistics, practical advice, employee theft and fire prevention. Svensk Handel's Warning List is a service providing access to a register of unscrupulous companies. A free mobile phone application is also available with the same function.
Our focus is to reduce crime affecting the industry, often in tandem with the police force and other actors. We also contribute towards the development of improved products and services in the area of security. Another of our priorities is influencing legislation – for example, we believe shoplifting should be classified as theft, and all forms of armed robbery as gross.
Svensk Handel boasts a proud, long-standing track record of commitment to issues around corporate responsibility. We also provide information regarding initiatives, standards and certification under development in the CSR field. At EU level, Svensk Handel works towards the establishment of fair conditions throughout the EU as a whole, thereby eliminating trade barriers. We also provide support to member companies with knowledge and advice on e-commerce, ethics, the environment and corporate responsibility, either domestically or in other countries in which a company may be operating.
Shopping tourism today generates SEK 80 billion of retail trade, and interest in Sweden as a tourist destination continues to grow.
Svensk Handel has teamed up with a number of its partners in the tourist industry to develop 20 new Swedish tourist destinations by the year 2020.
Corporate establishment and development
Svensk Handel offers specialist expertise within commercial development and establishment within retail trade. We can contribute with knowledge on both local and regional markets. Svensk Handel liaises with decision makers on a regional level and actively lobbies politicians on specific issues (such as security, the environment, infrastructure and corporate establishment and development).