Home retailer, Clas Ohlson has announced it is to close all UK stores as it looks to focus on operations in Sweden and Denmark.
The retailer has also closed four pilot stores in Germany after it found that “the operations will be unable to deliver on plan and therefore the right conditions are not in place to achieve profitability”.
Following this revelation, Clas Ohlson said UK and German operations had been “discontinued and in line with the new direction our presence in these markets will be concentrated to online shopping”. The company said the decision would allow it to “develop a scalable business model for the UK and Germany initially, and then later in other markets”.
Clas Ohlson said the closures would affect 150 jobs, the company said information for the closure plans such as dates will be made available “following careful consideration of the lease terms for each store so as to optimise total discontinuation costs”. Clas Ohlson said the “estimated discontinuation costs” will be reported in its nine-month report.
The news comes following Clas Ohlson’s announcement that total sales at the retailer increased by 9% from 1 May to 31 October 2018, organic sales up 5% and up 2% in comparable units.
Lotta Lyrå, president and CEO of Clas Ohlson, said: “I continue to strengthen my conviction that we are on the right path. Our customers value our offering, services, products and store concept. We are also becoming more agile at analysing, evaluating and adapting the store network and format, online shopping platform and market presence.
“The new direction for the operations outside the Nordics is another important step towards long term profitable growth. Combined with a solid financial position, it provides a basis for delivering customer and shareholder value now and in the future.”