The first store was opened in 1986 in Gävle 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 100 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 36 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 3 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.