Scandinavian DIY and electricals retailer Clas Ohlson is pressing ahead with its launch in the UK despite the widespread problems the sector is facing.

Clas Ohlson UK manager Mark Gregory said it plans to open four UK stores in the next six months.

The retailer, one of Scandinavia’s biggest DIY names, is to make its UK debut at the end of November in Howard Holdings’ Whitgift Centre in Croydon, south London. It has taken a 20,000 sq ft (1,860 sq m) store in the centre, which is also home to Currys.

Gregory did not confirm where the other three stores will be, but said the retailer is in talks with landlords.

Gregory said: “Our aspirations are high for the UK, it’s an attractive market for us. As we find locations we will consider them.”

He added that although the UK market is feeling the effects of the downturn, “we’re not changing our plans”.

Clas Ohlson was set up in the Swedish town of Insjön in 1918 and has since expanded throughout the rest of Scandinavia. In 1985 it opened its first store in Norway and in 2002 made its debut in Finland. It now operates about 100 across the region.