Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson is to open its third store in Hamburg on Thursday (November 24) in the Alstertal shopping centre after its flagship stored opened on Junferngstieg in May and another store in Altona in September. Clas Ohlson sells all kinds of tools, multimedia, electronics, recreational items and home accessories. Prior to the opening of the store on Jungfernstieg, Sweden’s Queen Silvia paid a surprise visit and told NDR TV: “I believe the German mentality is very similar to that of Swedes.”
Purchasing power and trend conscious Hamburg
Some 80 Swedish firms are based in the city presently, according to the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Around 1,000 companies in Hamburg do trade with Sweden. And the city is also home to the headquarters of Alfa Laval, H&M and Vattenfall. Ninni Löwgren Tischer, a spokesperson for the German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, told Hamburg News: “For many Swedish retailers, Hamburg is the natural choice to launch onto the German market.” The strong purchasing power and “the good standing of the retail segment” are positive factors. Also Hamburg has proved innovative and trend conscious and that appeals to many Swedish firms.
The “Swedish wave” is due to the geographical proximity and the logistic capacities in the Hanseatic city, says Leif H. Sjöström, Swedish diplomat and Hamburg Ambassador. And from a Swedish point of view, the general and cultural conditions in Hamburg are very favourable. He noted: “The importance of environment and quality aspects is very important in the neighbouring countries.” Swedish firms are offering everything from dog food to ladies’ fashion.
Panduro, Gudrun Sjödén & Hästens
Earlier, the Stadium sports brand launched on the German via Hamburg, said Löwgren Tischer. And in mid March, the company opened its third shop in the Phoenix Centre after those in the Mönckebergstrasse and in Hamburg Altona. Swedish fashion store chain Hennes & Mauritz started its German business in Hamburg in 1980 and IKEA now has three branches in Hamburg, including a unique downtown store. Other Swedish companies in the city include Panduro, a chain store offering craft materials, Gudrun Sjödén, a natural fashion brand, and Hästens bedding store.
Swedish flair in Hamburg
Swedes obviously feel at home in Hamburg. And the Swedish love of Hamburg goes back centuries to 1883 when the first Swedes settled in the city. Their numbers have since swelled to 670 presently. Nowadays, shoppers can find several authentic cafés serving delicacies such as cinnamon buns and köttbullar or small meatballs across the city. The Swedish school is housed in a villa near the Alster Lake and the consulate can be found in the Swedish community building on Hamburg’s Landungsbrücken. And the Swedish Chamber of Commerce is represented in Hamburg with a very active Regionalgruppe Nord that organises regular networking meetings and events.