Our history

Clas Ohlson, an entrepreneur with a passion for technology and innovation, founded a mail order company in 1918 in Insjön, Sweden. The company’s head office and distribution centre are still located here. Today, Clas Ohlson is an international retail company. We offer smart and affordable solutions to everyday practical problems.

 

Timeline

1895 Clas Ohlson was born in the village of Skog in Aspeboda parish southeast of Insjön in Dalarna, Sweden.

1918 Clas Ohlson founded the mail order company, Clas Ohlson & Co. at the age of just 22. Clas Ohlson was highly interested in technology and started selling technical handbooks. The product range was gradually expanded.

1925 Clas Ohlson’s head office was built next to the railway in Insjön. The company was located here until 1972.

1944 Clas Ohlson removed an “s” from his last name because he thought it graphically looked better.

1961 250,000 copies of the catalogue are printed, including about 7,000 products. The company has about 600 suppliers

1967 146,477 packages are sent from Insjön during the year. The average value of a package is 56 SEK, or about 480 SEK today.

1972 The new head office and store along highway 70 was completed. The number of employees is 75. The catalogue has about 8,000 products.

1989 Clas Ohlson opened its first store outside Insjön in central Stockholm.
The store was opened on 30 June.

1991 The first store outside Sweden was opened in Oslo in Norway on 26 August. Clas Ohlson was a well-known name to Norwegians since the first mail order catalogue was published in 1985.

1995 The first stage of the Central Warehouse in Insjön was completed in May.

1999 Clas Ohlson was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange on 5 October.

2000 Sales exceed 1 billion SEK for the first time.

2002 The first store in Finland was opened in Helsinki on 14 November.

2008 The Central Warehouse, now called the distribution centre, was expanded to meet increased volumes.
The Clas Ohlson Museum was opened in Insjön. The expansion in the UK was started, with the first store opened in Croydon in southwest London on 27 November.

2009 Clas Ohlson opened its 100th store in Motala in Sweden.

2010 A new distribution line was installed at the distribution centre along with an additional high bay storage area and now has a capacity of a total of 120,000 pallet spaces. The store in Insjön was expanded and became the largest in the Group with 3,197 square metres of floor space.

2011 Clas Ohlson opened its 150th store in Lahti in Finland.

2012 A new online shopping platform was launched, with extended availability, service and inspiration. A mobile version was also launched at the end of the year.
The return policy was expanded from 30 to 90 days. Clas Ohlson now has more than 4,000 employees. In December, monthly sales exceed 1 billion SEK for the very first time.

2013 The loyalty programme Club Clas was launched in Sweden in March 2013. A year later the club has a million members. The company achieved a new milestone in December when monthly sales exceeded 1 billion SEK for the first time.

2014 Clas Ohlson’s first franchise store in Dubai was opened on 30 April.

In September we launched Clas Office, our offer for corporate customers, in Sweden and Norway. The Club Clas loyalty programme is introduced in Finland.

2015 Clas Ohlson opened its 200th store in Bergvik, Karlstad in Sweden.

2016 The first store in Germany was opened in Hamburg on 19 May. The Club Clas customer loyalty program welcomed its two millionth member. The company has 4,700 employees in six countries

 

2017 Sales exceed 8 billion SEK for the first time.