Norwich branch of Clas Ohlson to close within weeks as firm focuses on London

People waiting for the new Clas Ohlson store to open at Chapelfield in Norwich in 2010. The store wi

People waiting for the new Clas Ohlson store to open at Chapelfield in Norwich in 2010. The store will close in June 2016, it has been announced. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant © 2010

The Norwich branch of Clas Ohlson is to close within weeks, as the chain focuses on developing more smaller-format stores around London.

The company said the Chapelfield store would close in June, one of seven which would shut its doors within the current financial year because they had 'not met expectations in terms of sales or profitability'. Fifteen people are employed at the store.

Klas Balkow, president and chief executive the Swedish-based company, said: 'We are in the process of optimising our network of stores in the UK market to improve long term profitability of our UK business.

'As part of this development we are now taking the opportunity to exit a number of stores that have not met expectations in terms of sales and profitability. However, our commitment to the UK market remains solid. It is our intention to continue our expansion by adding new stores in the London area.'

Stores in Cardiff and Norwich will close in June, with the Doncaster store following in September, Watford by March 2017 and Croydon, which is closing for redevelopment of the shopping centre. Another two store locations are pending closure subject to negotiations.

'We will do our best to support affected employees in finding new employment opportunities, including offering job openings in other Clas Ohlson units where possible', said Mr Balkow.

The Norwich branch of the store opened in 2010, selling the company's range of hardware, electrical, home, multimedia and leisure products.

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Paul McCarthy, general manager of intu Chapelfield, said: 'It is always sad to see an intu Chapelfield store close and Clas Ohlson has been popular with our shoppers since opening in 2010.

'No firm plans are set for the unit's future at this point, but we are constantly in talks with fresh, exciting brands who want to come to Norwich, and enhance an already fantastic experience for our shoppers.'

Smaller Clas Ohlson stores were opened in St Albans and Ealing earlier this year, combining in-store and online sales. The company said it planned to 'open an additional one to two stores in the London area' over the next year.

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