New opportunities and challenges

Understanding how our operating environment is changing, the external forces exerting an influence and the challenges and opportunities this means for our business and our ability to develop and create value is decisive for how competitive we will be in terms of meeting customer needs.

Megatrends such as globalisation, digitalisation, higher demand for resources, climate change and demographic changes impact and change our industry, our market and the society in which we operate. Prevailing consumer trends are highly reflective of these megatrends.

Naturally, our industry is also influenced by macro economic conditions, such as political uncertainty, Brexit and currency fluctuations.

The retail sector is also experiencing major change. Purchasing and behaviour patterns are changing and existing structures and work methods are being challenged by new players.

This section describes the megatrends that will ultimately affect us all in the long term and some of the trends that currently affect us the most.

Sustainable way of living

An urban lifestyle with longer working days and business travel means many find it difficult to find enough time in the day. Products and services that in different ways make everyday life easier are increasingly in demand. On top of this, more and more people want solutions that are compatible with a sustainable lifestyle. We see growing demand for green products, a desire to use the planet’s resources sparingly and a trend towards wanting to hire, borrow or share products rather than owning them.

For Clas Ohlson, this means we will continue to develop the offering of smart, affordable products that solve small practical problems and develop services that make customers’ everyday lives easier and support a more sustainable lifestyle.

Influential and engaged customers

Nowadays, it is easy for consumers to find all the information that they want about companies, brands and products, and influence others via social media. With an infinite supply available, it is increasingly important to stimulate commitment by improving the relevance of communication, service and product range. Robust demands are also made by many for companies to assume their responsibility in the production chain and serve as good members of society.

For Clas Ohlson, this means being transparent, and continuously working to provide relevant smart solutions, inspiration, tips, good advice and clear product information. Both the offering and communication must be customised according to data and insight into what customers want and how they shop in order to present relevant and personal offers.

Flexible, digital customer journeys 

Mobile, digital technology is playing an ever important role in the lives of consumers and has revolutionised purchasing and behaviour patterns in the retail sector. Constantly connected consumers want to shop when, where and how they want, and they expect a simple and consistent shopping experience regardless of the sales channel they use, tailored to their needs. The rising trend of online shopping means that the main purpose of the physical store is as a meeting place and an arena for experiences. Customers expect quick, reliable and convenient deliveries and the range of delivery options offered is continuously expanding.

For Clas Ohlson, this means a continued focus on integrating and developing our various sales channels, and delivery options and on our capacity to interact with our customers through digital channels to further improve our availability and service level. Digitalisation provides us with tools to enhance understanding of customer behaviour, drive sales, build loyalty and easily serve and support customers throughout the entire decision-making and purchasing process.

Complex competitive enviroment

Competition in the retail market is fiercer than ever before. Local, traditional retailers are being challenged by global e-retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba, while other digital players, for example, Google and Facebook are always expanding their business and pushing the boundaries of existing business models. Many companies have a similar range that competes for the same customers and it is easier than ever before to compare prices and performance

For Clas Ohlson, this means pursuing our work on developing our omni-channel strategy, our product range and our service offering to offer customers relevant and affordable solutions in all channels that inspire them and help customers’ everyday lives.

Battle for talent

Attracting and retaining highly skilled employees is a strong competitive advantage, while lacking the right skills is one of the greatest threats to a company’s success and growth. The young, digital generation of millennials know exactly what type of workplace environment they want – one that they can contribute to and evolve in without losing their work-life balance.

For Clas Ohlson, this means that we strive to increase flexibility and we are being clear in what we offer to our employees. Clas Ohlson aims to be an attractive workplace in which to grow, and we support our employees on their journey forward. Our leadership, skills development and belief in our employees equips us for the future and cultivates an organisation prepared to shoulder new challenges.