Varteks Modabus Coming to Stari Grad!

Daniela Rogulj


May 8, 2019 – The Varaždin-based Croatian company Varteks has been producing dresses, coats, jackets and other clothing for specialized purposes, including uniforms for the Croatian Army and the police for 101 years.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Varteks, once the largest and most important clothing and fashion company in the former Yugoslavia, founded in 1918 by Czechs from Moravia. 

The textile giant, however, found itself in a constant decline for the last 50 years, and over the previous 12-15 years, year on year losses accumulated to more than 100 million euro, which ate most its assets. Fortunately, one of Croatia’s leading entrepreneurs, Nenad Bakić, took over the reins as CEO in the 100th year of the company’s existence. 

Namely, the famous textile industry brand received a new lease of life after Bakić became the majority owner of the Varaždin clothing manufacturer in 2018. Recall, Bakić took over the position of the CEO to accelerate the business processes that should lead to the full recovery of the company. Workers have stopped leaving, after a long time the company is no longer closing its shops, and wages are paid on time. 

Bakić’s “no-nonsense” approach to life and clear vision have already helped to reestablish the quality of the brand. 

“With regard to the quality of the fashion and clothing, we are aiming for extremely high levels, so we are now putting in our stores the highest quality suits and clothing,” said Bakić in an interview with TCN in March. 

“Firstly, the design did not always follow the latest fashion, and we have fixed that. And the second was the marketing approach. I would say now that we are far away from the most innovative fashion company in Croatia when it comes to marketing. We have several marketing initiatives and we are developing a very broad portfolio now. So we have the highest quality suits in our limited edition, but we have also entered a new niche of suits for young people,” he added.

Several prominent Croats have been proud to join the campaign to resurrect this Croatian industry, including Mate Rimac, owner of Rimac Automobili, who is taking the automobile world by storm with his electric cars and technology.

Bakić’s innovative marketing ideas didn’t stop there. Last March, Bakić introduced the world to the Varteks Modabus.


The Varteks Modabus is a take on an old retail idea – the moving shop, which has been reinterpreted by using the largest possible bus (40m2 inside) to function as a modern shop. Better yet, it is also paired with the online shop.

“The customer feels very welcome and comfortable inside the shop. It has changing rooms so customers can try clothes on, but we don’t sell anything on the bus. All the items have a QR code, and they can scan the QR code, which goes through to our webshop. From there it is just one click to SMS/WhatsApp/Email confirmation with a coupon which offers a 10% discount if they buy within 36 hours,” Bakić said. 

Thus, the customer’s journey involves using the oldest possible method of retail with the latest technology. 

“Plus, as Varteks sold most of its shops all over the country, it sends a strong message to our customers that we are coming back to the places we used to be present, and also that we are agile, modern and responsive to new trends.”

The Varteks Modabus has already been making its way around Croatia – and on Wednesday, it’s coming to Hvar, to the 2,400-year-old town of Stari Grad! The following day, Thursday, May 9, the Modabus makes its way to Split. 

The Modabus on the ferry to Stari Grad

“Our next goal is to visit Bosnia and Hercegovina, as we have a market presence there. We are now trying to reestablish Varteks in Slovenia, and we have webshop deliveries to Slovenia now. Internationally, we will see. Currently, we have fantastic quality at great prices, but no brand presence in most other countries, so we will probe those markets through the webshop and see.”

This is just the begging for the new and improved Varteks under Nenad Bakić. Don’t miss the Modabus in a city near you!

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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