Clas Ohlson today opens its first UK store in a bid to bring a new type of ‘modern hardware’ to British consumers.
The new store in the Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon forms the start of Clas Ohlson's expansion programme for the UK, which will see another two stores by next spring.
Although still relatively unknown in the UK, Clas Ohlson is a household name in Sweden known as the 'to do' shop, stocking everything from electrical and multi-media products, kitchen and bathroom accessories and power tools and gardening equipment.
The 90-year old company, established in Insjön, Sweden by inventor Clas Ohlson, situates its stores in town centres and prime shopping locations, going against the trend of DIY chains setting up shop on the outskirts.
Store manager Ian Saville said: "I think it's going to revolutionise the way people shop for hardware."
The store was officially opened by Clas Ohlson's grandson, who cut the ribbon, accompanied by president and ceo, Klas Balkow and chairman Anders Moberg.
The chain plans to open at least two stores by the end of April 2009.