Clas Ohlson

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Clas Ohlson AB
Type Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as OMXCLAS B
Industry Retail
Founded 1918
Headquarters Insjön, Sweden
Revenue Increase SEK 6,519 million (2012/13) [1]
Employees 2,524 (2012/13) [2]
A branch of Clas Ohlson in Reading
A branch in the former Allders department store on The Headrow in Leeds.

Clas Ohlson is a Swedish hardware store chain and mail-order firm that specialises in hardware, home, leisure, electrical and multimedia products. It is one of the biggest of its type in Scandinavia, with a total of approximately 180 Clas Ohlson stores as of October 2013.[3] Stores also exist in Norway, Finland, and the United Kingdom. Many of the products sold in the stores are own-label items. The company uses the house brands of Asaklitt (luggage and travelware), Capere (kitchenware), Cocraft (DIY tools), Cotech (electrical tools), Coline (household electrical items), Exibel (household electrical items) and Northlight (lighting).


The company was founded in 1918 by the technically-minded Clas Ohlson (1895–1979), as a mail order business based in the Swedish village of Insjön, Dalarna. Initially, only manuals and technical literature were sold, thus allowing people who lived in rural communities to obtain literature that would otherwise be unavailable. He opened his first shop in Insjön in 1926, but it was not until 1989, when the company opened a store in a shopping centre in central Stockholm, that it expanded into the retail business.[4] Since then, expansion has been rapid. There are now stores throughout Sweden, Norway and Finland.

In 2008, the company opened its first store in the United Kingdom, in Croydon, south London. There are now 12 stores in England and Wales, including Liverpool, Leeds, Watford, Manchester, Kingston upon Thames, Reading, , Merry Hill, Cardiff, Doncaster, Norwich and Newcastle upon Tyne.[5]


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