LIDKÖPING – Southern Vänern
The transformed porcelain factory in Lidköping!
What was once Lidköping’s Porcelain Factory and Rörstrand’s factory is today Rörstrand Center.
In the newly renovated museum’s café you can have coffee served in beautiful Mon Amie porcelain.
The museum’s collections span over almost three centuries.
Grästorp’s hardware store is like a miniature warehouse.
It is located right in the middle of Grästorp.
Its location is furthermore almost near the middle of Western Götaland.
-My goal is that we are able to attract customers from a large geographical area. It requires you to be sociable and in good spirits and I think all 10 of us who work here are, Fredrik Andersson says. Fredrik has had full ownership of the store since 2018, but the store first saw the light of day in 1894.
Grästorp’s hardware store is a standalone business today since it parted ways with Järnia a year and a half ago.
-Now we can do exactly like we please and that is a freedom that I like. It means that we can make good procurements and be able to sell at customer-friendly prices, Fredrik concludes. Fredrik has always been a salesman but for several different employers, one of which was the not completely unknown Bert Karlsson.

Worked for Bert Karlsson
-For 7 years I worked for Bert’s record company and those years were good.
Part of the reason he started working for Bert is that he used to be a musician, and still is but to a lesser degree these days. Fredrik was a band member in his ex-wife, Inger Nordström’s country band and that is how he got in touch with Bert.
A speciality of his has been farming equipment, but the closest he gets to a big tractor today is the selling of lawnmowers.
-We are big on riding mowers and have customers all over the country; one of them is an entrepreneur in Värmdö – in the Stockholm archipelago.
Another product the hardware store specializes in is chainsaws, another big seller.

Hardware store with a wide selection
But about the department store thing. The selection of goods is incredibly wide and the latest thing Fredrik and his co-workers have invested in is wallpaper and paint. They have a lot of kitchen utensils. Same thing with kitchen appliances and bicycles. They even have a small assortment of toys.
But the core of the business is of course traditional hardware store items. And Fredrik Andersson is mighty proud of the old sales counter and its matching wall storage system that he has picked up from the old hardware store.
This interior alone certainly makes it worth visiting the hardware store and if you feel like it all you need to buy is a brass screw…

Doubled their turnover in 3 years
Fredrik bought into the company as one of three co-owners back in 2016 but three years later he bought up his partners’ shares. This guy is a driving force personified. The turnover has gone from 14 to 29 million kronor in 3 years and in the last pandemic year the turnover amounted to 24 million kronor.
-I really did not believe that we would trump last year’s turnover but we actually did, Fredrik establishes.
He thinks it is important to be able to offer quality and attractive pricing.
-I don’t compete with Jula and Biltema. They can manage their own business and we’ll take care of ours. And so far things have gone very well indeed.
The Grästorp Hardware Store has been in the same venue since Lantmännen left in the year 2000. And maybe it isn’t all that strange that Fredrik would end up working there. In 1971 he had a summer job at this very hardware store…