It may have been mentioned once or twice before on the blog but I do love a good interiors destination and last week I was invited to visit the recently opened Clas Ohlson store in Ealing to have a little look around and then hear from some of the Clas Ohlson team talk about interiors trends and what their plans are for expansion within the UK market.
If you haven’t heard of them, well I’m not surprised. Hailing from Sweden where they have a well-known high street presence offering a wide range of affordable products in five product areas: hardware, electrical, home, multimedia and leisure and have been in business since 1918, they have just 11 UK stores including Ealing and the one I’m very familiar with down in Kingston. Yet the solutions they offer high street shoppers are fairly unrivalled – where else can you can find a selection of drill bits alongside stylish candle holders? I’m so fed up with finding that for most basic DIY jobs around the home I’m forced to head to an out of town B&Q whereas traditional hardware stores, once an ever-present on the high street have all but disappeared.
With both the Ealing store and the St Albans one which also opened quite recently, Clas Ohlson are offering something slightly different to their customers – a kind of ‘concept store’ design with a smaller floor space but clearer merchandising and a next-day instore delivery of any of their 10,000 online products. The idea is to encourage customers to make any purchase online where they don’t see the product they want in the shop, which can be dropped to the store next day and picked by the customer at their convenience. Knowing one of the larger stores it was interesting for me to compare the two and we discussed with the Clas Ohlson team how the larger Kingston branch can appear confusing to those who don’t know the brand because of a lack of cohesive layout whereas the Ealing branch is organised into clearly defined product areas.
Aside from selling all the standard useful household-y things like light bulbs and kitchen roll, they also offer a great collection of stylish interiors pieces at fantastic value for money without compromising on quality, plus every product has a two year guarantee. I have these beautiful solar basket lanterns in large and small which add the perfect finishing touch to our patio and look just as at home on the floor in the dining room when not in use and they cost just 8.99 and 14.99 yet look so much more expensive.
Following our tour we popped back to The Limeyard which were hosting the event to hear Jen from Love Chic Living pick out her favourite interiors pieces from the Clas Ohlson summer range including this fantastic ladder shelving system which can be styled for either indoor or outdoor use and Katy who writes at Apartment Apothecary painted hers and styled it in this post here.
With an emphasis on versatile pieces that can be interchanged around the home, Clas Ohlson has a little bit of something for everyone whether you’re just starting out on a DIY project or looking for that last finishing touch and they continue to be one of my favourite “I’ll just pop in and see what they have” destinations. Now, I just need to persuade them to open one in Bromley…
Thank to Clas Ohlson for inviting me to this event. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.