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|Founded||Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden (1963)|
|Founder||Sten Åke Lindholm|
|All Nordic countries except Iceland|
|Products||Tools, household hardware, garden supplies, electrical supplies, car parts|
Biltema is a Swedish chain of retail stores, specialising in tools, car supplies and leisure products. Founded in 1963 in Linköping, Sweden, Biltema also has stores in Finland, Norway and Denmark. The company is owned privately by founder Sten Åke Lindholm, through Dutch company Biltema BV.
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In 1963 the company started with auto parts store under the name "Handelsbolaget BIl-TEMA". The business was mail order sales of automotive parts and accessories. In the first catalog the reader was asked: "Why pay more?", which became Biltema's slogan.
Biltema lived in a small basement in Linköping. After a year the firm expanded mail-order business with a small shop, also in the same basement.
The policy of buying directly from the manufacturer led to Biltema soon began to look up where the manufacture of the various products were made. Back in the late 1970s, the company began building strategic sourcing contacts around the world.
Sten Åke's strong technical interest frequently led to several of the major manufacturers listened to Biltema's requirements and together developed the quality products beyond what was standard. Several of these improvements has also come out to the market as a very well known brands.
In 1976, sales have risen to about 25 million and the company moved to new premises of the Torvinge area in Linköping. Local surface was 6,000 square meters big and contained both mail order, central warehouse and a shop of almost 250 square meters. This store then expanded to about 2,700 square meters in the early 1980s.
In 1983 Biltema opened the first store outside Linköping. It was also outside Sweden, namely in Norway. The Norwegian establishment was followed in 1985 by a similar establishment in Finland.
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