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Clas Ohlson closes shops in UK and Germany

Swedish furniture and hardware store Clas Ohlson is changing its business model. The retailer becomes online only in the United Kingdom and Germany and thus shuts down all its physical stores. Well, not all, as the store in Reading will remain open.

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The retail company has confirmed that it will close five of its six stores in the UK and all in Germany, as part of a restructure of the business. There’s no date set yet for the closures, Manchester Evening News reported.

‘Reading is a key location’

Initially, Clas Ohlson said it would close all its physical stores in the United Kingdom and Germany, but the day after it explained how the Reading branch would survive. According to UK country manager Jon Peacock, this was a key locations and that there are no plans to close the store.

He also said the company turns (almost) online-only in the two Western European countries, because it thinks this is the best way to “successfully continue in a market they are committed to being a part of.”

‘Online is where people like to shop with us’

In recent years, Clas Ohlson has been working on a digital transformation plan. “It’s clear that online, where people can get access to our entire product range, is how our customers like to shop with us”, he explained. “With this realigned focus we believe we’ll be able to deliver an even better shopping experience for our customers, by strengthening our supply chain and logistics capabilities, and really focusing on excellent service and product assortment.”

The German online business will be managed and operated from Clas Ohlson’s UK base. “Along with potential new European markets in the future.” In the Nordics, Clas Ohlson still operates 227 physical stores.

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