Trends & Features

Jakabels Josu Shephard gives us the inside track on the swim brand

Can you give us some background on the brand?
Jakabel is a one-stop shop for sun protection and safety in the sun and in the water. The brand has grown organically over the last 10 years but, being a quick drying product, that is about the only organic feature.

It all started when I was taking my three-year-old daughter, Isabel, on holiday to a house with a swimming pool in the garden and Isabel was unable to swim. I found the Swimsafe floatsuit in an airport in Asia and bought it for Isabel, who after two weeks could swim unaided, having had her confidence boosted by the floatsuit. From there the brand has grown, so that today it not only supplies the UK market, but also has distributors in six other territories and is growing fast.

Who are the ranges aimed at?
Jakabel’s ranges are aimed at kids. If kids like it, they wear it and with our broad choice of colours and designs, they are bound to like it. Sizes are from zero to 13 years plus adult ranges and are all SPF 50+, which keeps out 97.5 per cent of the sun’s rays – the rest are needed for vitamin D production. There is something for everyone and everyone out in the sun for any length of time should be wearing some protection.

Key features and benefits?
The Swimsafe floatsuit is the only floatsuit that does not tip over in the water and is comfortable enough for a child to play in all day, both in and out of the water. The lightweight, hydrodynamic design enables a child to learn to swim freely and easily – gradually building confidence until they can swim unaided. Endorsed by both the Royal Life Saving Society and former top goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, there can be no better recommendation.

Surfit ranges are all SPF 50+ and do what they say on the packet, while keeping kids safe.

Everything is coordinated, so outfits are easy to mix and match and prices are competitive.

How are they marketed?
Jakabel sells to both the sports trade and the kidswear market, so it is important to be priced competitively, designed well and have good functionality. The majority of the ranges are sold through shops, but fast growing is the online market and overseas distributors.

The most important thing is that when customers receive the goods they are instantly pleased and that the quality and sizing are so good there is no need to exchange them. Also, the colours go so well together that a large range can be shown in quite a small space in stores, plus the photos show well online. Keeping it simple is the best philosophy Jakabel has.

Why do they sell so well?
Jakabel offers great value product with great margins for retailers. With two-three days’ delivery all year round and no minimums, retailers can build sales slowly without having to take on a huge stock. This in turn creates sustainable brand loyalty among retailers and end users, which together work as an effective virtuous circle. In addition, as sizing and quality are both excellent, retailers experience zero problems and trust the brand.

What’s the most effective way a retailer can market the ranges?
The most effective way is to show enough of the range to create a look of authority in the area, train staff well and encourage staff to buy and test products so they can pass on first-hand knowledge of the products. Using social media and any web presence will also help promote both the brand and the retailer hand in hand.

For more information email, call 020 8715 2385 or visit

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