Clas Ohlson

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Clas Ohlson AB
Publicly traded Aktiebolag
Traded as OMXCLAS B
Industry Retail
Founded 1918
Headquarters Insjön, Sweden
Revenue Increase SEK 6,519 million (2012/13) [1]
Number of employees
2,524 (2012/13) [2]
Website www.clasohlson.com
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, the United Kingdom and Dubai. 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).

History[edit]

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 UK retail store in Croydon, south London. It later opened stores in Cardiff, Doncaster, Kingston upon Thames, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Merry Hill, near Dudley, Norwich, Newcastle upon Tyne, Reading and Watford.[5]

In 2014 the company entered a joint venture with Kuwait's Al Homaizi group. In May that year, the company opened the first Clas Ohlson branch outside Europe, a store in Dubai's Mirdif City Centre. It was, the Swedish company said, 'a first step into the fast-growing Gulf Co-operation Council region'.[6] The livestock-to-sportswear Al Homaizi group had in 1987 opened a flat-pack furniture store in Kuwait with Swedish retailer IKEA, under whose name the store traded.

References[edit]

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