Big things are afoot in the Danish camping industry; important things – not just here in Denmark, but on the European export markets, too.
Two of Denmark's classic camping icons, Isabella and Camp-let, are set to become sister companies under the parent company Oaking Group which, as the staff function for administration and finance, will ensure that the focus of the two companies is on development and innovation.
Oaking Group was founded as the parent company of Isabella on 1 January 2016 to oversee the generational change in the company and to safeguard the existing good framework for the development of Isabella – and now Camp-let as well.
Both companies have been run by their owner families from the outset. Isabella was started by Søren Odgaard in a garage in Vejle in 1957. The year before that, Christian Nissen came up with a folding trailer tent in Gram. However, it was not until 1969 that the Camp-let as we know it today went into production. These were the days before the caravan was a financially viable option. Camping holidays were associated with tents. Camp-let was the easy way to put up a tent. And tents and camping equipment had already reached a scale where a trailer was often required to carry it all.
The mental kinship between the two companies is clear. They are based on the same values: high quality and a continuing desire to develop and improve. Hence, Isabella has also been manufacturing tents for the Camp-let trailers for more than 20 years.
Lars Bilde, the CEO of Oaking Group, highlights in particular the many talented people that are now set to join the family: "Isabella and Camp-let are both unique brands driven by passionate, accomplished staff, and we can retain and develop this momentum in the new framework.
We are proud that Camp-let is now part of the family. The relationship we have with our dealers is everything to us, and now we have an even bigger package to offer them. Not only does our overall distribution become larger, but so too does the distribution of our vast and highly successful range of camping accessories, which includes camping furniture, carpets and wind screens. Isabella and Camp-let have got to where they are today through organic development. The situation we are now in represents great potential and opportunities for synergy for everyone, but we still favour a slowly but surely approach."
Hans Jørn Nissen, the son and nephew of the founders Poul and Hans Nissen, and owner of Camp-let up to this point, is also delighted to come in under the new umbrella. "Naturally, we see the idea behind Oaking Group as strong innovation in the Danish camping industry. A company that aims to both support and strengthen companies such as Camp-let is the best ownership we could dream of."