Clas Ohlson to take over Collectables unit in Newcastle’s Northumberland Street
I’m not sure if my persistent badgering has had any effect, but it’s finally happening – Clas Ohlson is coming to Newcastle!
The news was announced in a press release this morning, revealing that the store will be on the city’s prime Northumberland Street, will comprise retail space of 1,889 sqm (20,333 sq ft), and will open in August this year. This will make the shop almost identical in size to Clas Ohlson’s inaugural UK store, opened in Croydon in November 2008.
With large footprint stores at a premium on Northumberland Street, perhaps the most interesting piece of information is the one thing not included in the press release – the new store’s actual location within the street. I just spoke to Bo Heyman, Clas Ohlson’s Director of Establishment, who told me that the store will be located next to H&M, in the lower ground floor unit currently occupied by Collectables.
Founded in Sweden in 1918, Clas Ohlson’s eclectic product range – including hardware, electricals, multimedia, and home and leisure products – makes it something like a hybrid of Maplin, Robert Dyas, Ikea and Wilkinson, and potentially an effective footfall driver.
Having entered the UK market more than two years ago, the chain has been steadily expanding, opening stores in Croydon, Manchester, Watford, Kingston upon Thames (a former Woolies site), Reading, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster and Norwich. Newcastle will be the twelfth UK store, and the most northerly to date.
With Northumberland Street having gained Bank and Peacocks last year, and with a new BHS and enlarged Primark on the way, it’s shaping up to be quite an exciting time for the street after several years of fairly limited movement.
UPDATE, 10 March: Today’s Evening Chronicle reports that Collectables is to maintain a Newcastle presence, with plans to “relocate to out of the city centre”. According to the article, the chain hopes to “announce the exact whereabouts of their new store within weeks.”