1927 – 1947: Established on foundations of timber factory
The history of socks production in Polzela dates back to 1927 when old textile machines rattled for the first time in the abandoned wood processing factory called “Polzela the factory of woven and knitted fabrics”. Machines were property of Swiss industrialists Albert and Teodor Reiser, who previously owned a socks factory in Moravia. In the first decades the production of Polzela socks grew steeply at the same time the company invested in all aspects including manufacturing facilities. At the end of the World War II, the factory had become a modern industrial plant with 350 employees and with an annual production of over 1.8 million pairs of socks.
1947 – 1962: Nationalization, introduction of synthetic materials and return to the local environment
In August 1947 the factory was nationalized, which did not stop its growth. During the early fifties Polzela started testing usage of synthetic materials as the demand for woman stockings without line increased. The following years brought growth in the number of employees and production capacity. The factory began international exchange and modernization of machinery. At the same time the company is constantly invested in development of the local community. By building the first apartment block in Polzela, restoring cultural center, arrange the purchase of X-ray apparatus, opening first kindergarten and asphalting roads.
1962 – 1975: International operations, “Peggy” and first retail store
One of the major milestones of Polzela was the year 1962 when the company signed a five-year contract with the Canadian company Polex AG – the first contractual relationship with foreign investors in the form of equipment, raw materials and modern technology in the Yugoslav socking industry. The know how and international presence have enabled the Company to produce its first own fine woman tight called Peggy in 1969. New challenges and the need for new machinery resulted in positioning the Company as highest quality and most productive producer in Europe. In 1972, the company signed a contract with a Swiss company Du Pont for the supply of Lycra, which is still used today. In addition to the new production hall Company opened its first own retail store in 1975. At the time the factory employed 1,200 workers with annual production of 26 million pairs of socks.
1975 -1990: Big business with the Lohn commerce
If the seventies primarily focused on regulating working conditions and modernization of the machine park the next decade was marked by increasing exports based on the implementation of Lohn commerce transactions. Generating a number of short-term and medium-term contracts with German and Dutch partners. In 1983 the company employed 1,200 people, while production increased to 38.2 million socks. The company was publicly co-financed while investing in infrastructure and giving back to the local community. Building holiday homes in Piran and Bohinj for its employees.
1990 – 2016: Loss of markets in the former Yugoslavia and the struggle for survival
The beginning of the nineties brought the loss of a large part of the market of the former Yugoslavia. This was the era of downsizing and struggle for new customer transaction in Western Europe. Among other Polzela remains a strong manufacturing partner for some of the most recognized global brands such as Falke, Wilox, Camano, Cronert, Bataillon Belet, Nur Die, ATAIR, USF, Fogal, Socks & Fashion.
The company generated income by opening its own stores, but it was not enough to ensure long term business success.
In 2016 the company had a series of failed attempts and started to implement the financial restructuring program, which aims to harness existing skills and resources of the company. With an intent to restore normal operation and repositioning of the brand.