Hamburg News: Trade and Finance. High-class shopping area in the city centre shown.
Clas Ohlson-Store-Eröffnung am Jungfernstieg © Ulrich Perrey/Clas Ohlson

More and more Swedish companies moving to Hamburg

Stadium, Clas Ohlson - many Swedish retail chains choosing Hamburg as launching pad onto German market

A delegation from the Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB) is to travel to Goteborg from September 9-10, 2016 to present the best aspects of Hamburg as part of intensive business activity between Sweden and the Hanseatic city. The aim to highlight Hamburg-based firms and institutions as part of the Hamburg on Tour format as already successfully done recently in Copenhagen and Vienna.

Reopening of Hamburg’s top boulevard

Weeks before the opening, Hamburg’s central subway station Jungfergnstieg had sported the light blue of Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson. Posters of products from household ladders to smart phones have been on display since May 19th to show consumers the latest place to purchase household goods. Prior to the opening, Sweden’s Queen Silvia paid a surprise visit and told NDR TV: “I believe the German mentality is very similar to that of Swedes.” Clas Ohlson is due to open two more branches later in Hamburg.

Purchasing power and trend conscious Hamburg

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 on 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.

80 Swedish companies in Hamburg

“The sign of the house ware store, Granit, was hung up just recently”, said Löwgren Tischer. And more companies are expected to settle in Hamburg soon. The German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce is advising many companies who are eyeing Hamburg. Around 80 Swedish companies are represented in Hamburg now.”

But 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 lin 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 regularly organises networking meetings and events.

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