With a 1996 revenue of 30 million Sk and a factory pumping out 10 million pairs of panty-hose a year, the daughter company Chemes from Chemlon Humenné is showing that it can compete not just in Slovakia but also abroad. Chemes sold 60,000 pieces of the well-known "Linda" pantyhose outside Slovakia, mainly in the Czech Republic, which warranted the building of a storage center in Prague. Another 500,000 "Lindas" were sold in Russia and Ukraine. This year Chemes is setting their sights on other eastern European countries like Hungary and the former Yugoslav states Montenegro and Slovenia.
That Chemes has been able to succeed is due to the fact that they have gained plaudits for high-quality while being able to keep their prices low. Chemes won the 1996 National Prize for Quality given by the Foundation Q Impulz, a committee that monitors industrial quality.
Linda pantyhose is broken down into the standard and deluxe brands. The brand name "Eva," selling for about 17 Sk and the stretch style "Stela," both retailing at 30-40 Sk, make up Chemes's list of brand products. "These brands are our best sellers," said Jozef Jacko, commercial director at Chemlon.
Prices for other popular brands of deluxe panty hose, such as Timea and Markíza Nova, cost between 50 and 130 Sk. A brand new collection called "Luna" to be offered this year is special in that it received the Lycra trademark of excellence from the French company Du Pont.
The city of Humenné in east Slovakia is perhaps best known for its chemical factory, Chemlon, which started manufacturing in 1959. Chemlon later split into Chemlon a.s. (joint stock) and Chemes a.s.
Though producing on the same grounds as when it started two years ago, Chemes built its own factory to make pantyhose. Chemes invested 75 million Sk to reconstruct an old warehouse and leased machines from the Italian company MATEC.
Chemes has 71 employees, 68 percent of whom are women.
13. Mar 1997 at 0:00 | Veronika Jankovičová