Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson will close all of its stores in the UK, apart from the Reading branch, following years of losses.

The retailer currently has six stores in the UK where it opened 10 years ago.

It is also closing its German operation, which consists of four stores. The closures will affect 150 employees and cost 210 million kronor.

The decision to close the UK comes as Clas Ohlson’s second-quarter operating profit fell to 33m kronor (£2.9m) from 125m kronor (£10.9m).

New chief executive Lotta Lyra, a former Ikea executive, who joined Clas Ohlson last year has put the retailer on a new path by upping the focus on digital channels and home deliveries rather than stores.

The retailer will continue to sell online in the UK and Germany.

Clas Ohlson acting UK country manager Jon Peacock said: ”We have decided to focus on an online strategy in the UK, as we feel it is the best way to successfully continue in a market that we’re committed to being a part of. In recent years, we’ve been working on a digital transformation plan and our online business has gone from strength to strength. It’s clear that online, where people can get access to our entire product range, is how our customers like to shop with us.”

Its German online business will also be managed and operated from the UK, along with potential new European markets in future.