From Insjön to the world. Clas Ohlson was established in the small village of Insjön lying directly in the outskirts of Leksand, where its main offices are still located. Initially starting with only a European expansion plan, Clas Ohlson now has become an international player.
Jesper Lindahl, Oscar Siljebrand & Johan Hed
Age: Jesper: 29. Oscar: 24. Johan: 27. Training: Jesper: Masters in Marketing, Linné University 2013. Oscar: Bachelors in Retail Service Management & Masters in People Knowledge and Change Management, Lunds University 2014. Johan: Civil Engineering in Industrial Finance, Karlstad University, 2013.
"We see ourselves as a cohesive unit, all working towards the same goal"
Jesper Lindahl and Johan Hed have both worked within Clas Ohlson before starting the trainee programme, while Oscar Siljebrand started straight out of school. At Clas Ohlson there is no ”ideal” background, everyone's differences are considered but all share a common denominator in our company's core values and how customers are viewed – everything that is done, is done for the customer.
Can you say a few words about the trainee programme.
Jesper: – The trainee programme is tailored to the individual depending on their background and area of focus. Before Clas Ohlson starts its recruiting process a current and future needs analysis is conducted. In my case the company had a growing need to boost their Marketing department. They took my background into account and developed a programme that fit both my personal and the needs of the company. Nothing is written in stone however. If at a later date some other business area shows itself to be more important then it is easy to change. Clas Ohlson is flexible in that way.
Johan: – The entire programme last for 18 months. Everyone starts out in a store no matter what their individual goals are. Store internships form an important base in giving trainees a deeper insight into our core business operations and help to bridge the gap between our store operations and how they are closely linked to our Main Office.
Oscar, what attracted you to Clas Ohlson?
– I've always had an interest in retail because my father worked as a store manager in a large retail chain. This inspired me to study the subject at university and also to look for a trainee programme in retail, which was pretty rare at the time. I found that Clas Ohlson had a trainee position in Oslo which I thought fit me well. I got the position and moved there. It feels exciting to be a part of such a quickly expanding company with regular international store openings.
Teamwork is a cornerstone of Clas Ohlson's corporate culture, how does this work in practice?
Jesper: – We see ourselves as a cohesive unit, all working towards the same goal. Everything is based on our core operations - our stores. We work between departments and maintain direct contact with both our stores and the Main Office, with the main goal to deliver the best possible customer experience possible.
Johan: – Everyone within Clas Ohlson helps each other out. It's through teamwork where we generate change. For instance if Jesper or Oscar have a question they know that they can always come to me and vice-versa.
Oscar: – Working together in a store makes everyone very close. Clas Ohlson has taken this feeling a step further and incorporated this same feeling throughout the organisation.
ABOUT CLAS OHLSON
Trainee programme: As a trainee at Clas Ohlson you will be employed in a specific role within the organisation. The programme is based on our store operations which is our core business, but is also complemented with project assignments within our other business operations. If your project involves international relations, the possibility for you to work abroad for a period also exists. Your training will also be interspersed with themed seminars within Purchasing, Warehousing, Finance, Sales, Retail Expansion, HR, IT and other areas. Throughout the programme you will be guided by a mentor, whose experience and contact network will help you immeasurably to grow into an exciting future position within the organisation.
Text: Daniel Cederlund. Photograph by: Clas Ohlson