The third generation of Keros took over in 2005, when the company was divided into two enterprises - Kero Leather AB (the tannery) and Kero försäljning AB (shoemaking).
In 2006, in connection with the generation handover and the division of operations into two separate enterprises, we were featured in two articles in the business journal Affärsliv. Here, Tomas Kero, CEO of Kero Leather, talked about fashion fairs in Italy and France, and the importance of following the changing fashions. Emma Kero, marketing manager of Kero Försäljning, talked about the optimism that arose with the division, the marketing drives, and the venture into corporate gifts.
Yrjö Kero died. 1993 was a record year for Kero reindeer suede, and mail order sales peaked.
A major mail order venture. In 1982, the national daily Expressen carried out interviews with dwindling businesses in Norrbotten and eventually arrived at the firm Kero, where they were told: ”There's nothing wrong with Sattajärvi,” according to Henry Kero, one of the seven brothers then running the biggest industry in Pajala Municipality. “The location is perfect. The village is right between New York and Tokyo.” The manufacture of reindeer suede began in 1985.
The new modern tannery was completed. There was enormous demand for peaked boots. 300 pairs of peaked boots per day. At most, 72,000 pairs were dispatched in one year.
In 1976, Yrjö handed over the firm to his seven sons Henry, Tore, Bertil, Erland, Sven-Olov, Per-Enok and Sigvard. Each of them was allocated a task, and since they had been active in the firm since their youth, the generation handover was quite natural. Since then, the know-how has been handed down from generation to generation.
AWARDED THE ROYAL ORDER OF VASA
In the past, entrepreneurs were not particularly favoured. In many respects, Yrjö had an uphill struggle. In 1971, he was awarded the Royal Order of Vasa. The order is awarded to people who make a valuable contribution to Sweden. The County Governor came to Pajala to be escorted to the tannery by Pajala’s council leader. The problem was that the council leader did not know the way to Kero, testimony to the low esteem in which the private sector was held in those days. Despite that, and thanks to Yrjö’s hard-work approach, Kero stands strong in its peaked boots in Sattajärvi to this day.
Modernisation of the shoemaking through new machinery.
The first mail-order catalogue was printed, six pages with a dozen products.
First modernisation. New machinery for the tannery.
Mail order operations came into being in 1933. A handful of shoemakers worked from home under the auspices of Kero.
Yrjö started the tannery in 1929.