Wandering around Clas Ohlson before Christmas (via the pre-ordained route beloved of Scandinavian stores), I was struck by the truly bizarre smorgasbord of stuff they sell. One minute, it's stationery and household electricals. The next, it's... err... lifejackets.
Not just the odd one either. A whole wall of them.
Tumbleweed billowing past the shelves, as nearby shoppers head off to find a Bosch ALB 18 LI Leaf Blower.
It's difficult to imagine quite why Clas Ohlson anticipates this level of demand. And given that no one would ever suspect that they actually sold lifejackets anyway, who could possibly be buying? Is there casual passing trade?
"Did you get the lever-arch files, darling?"
"No, but I tell you what. I found something else to stop you drowning in paperwork."
Sink or swim: Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson tries to corner the market in lifejackets in suburban London