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Sweden: Rusta reaches 200 stores and wants to grow further

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Discount Home and Leisure Retail Chain Rusta from Sweden (privately owned) celebrates the opening of the 200th store in Kerpen (near Cologne), Germany.

Rusta is a store for home-fixers, bargain hunters and passionate Rusta fans. And although much has changed in the years since 1986, one thing still remains the same, the long queues.

The first store was opened in 1986 in the town of Gävle (Sweden) by entrepreneurs Anders Forsgren and Bengt-Olov Forssell, who are still the principal owners and have a hands-on role in the company today. This was followed by the opening of new stores in Uppsala and Östersund, and by the end of the year the number of stores in the Rusta chain had grown to five. By the beginning of 1998, there were 15 stores in Sweden, and this was also when we opened our first purchasing office in Asia.

The company's success and rapid expansion continued throughout the 1990s. At the turn of the millennium, there were 25 stores and in 2008, Rusta had 52 stores and employed 578 people. The pace of expansion in recent years has been rapid and today Rusta has 109 stores in Sweden, from Kiruna in the north to Ystad in the south.

Rusta abroad. 2014 was a historic year for Rusta, as that was when we made our breakthrough on the Norwegian market, opening five stores. Today there are 44 Rusta stores in Norway, as well as an office at Strømmen, near Oslo. Rusta opened our first store in Germany during 2017, today with a total of 8 stores. In 2018 Rusta aquired the Finnish retail chain Hong Kong with 25 stores across Finland. In 2020 Hong Kong was re-branded to Rusta, which means that Rusta is now active on four markets.

Control of the value chain ensures quality. Rusta has five purchasing offices in Asia, which allows us to take an active role in product development. In total, these local purchasing offices have almost 80 employees. Our offices in Asia enable us to make frequent quality inspections, both of the product quality and of the working and manufacturing conditions.

Rusta has kept a fast pace in recent years and opened 100 department stores since 2017. Today number 200 opens. And there may be many more in the chain's future market. "We have previously talked about 500 and I think that is still possible," says CEO Göran Westerberg, who has the recipe for success clear.


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