SELL THE BERRIES YOU HAVE...
Petter Anker Stordalen born in Porsgrunn is a Norwegian investor and hotel tycoon. At the age of ten he began working in his father´s grocery store and at the age of twelve he began selling strawberries at the local market. He already then displayed his acumen for business, being named Norway´s top strawberry seller in the local paper, beating out his competition of 50-60 year old market ladies. Following high school he attended Kjøpmannsinstituttet for one year, he then managed his father´s store for a short time before going off to the Norwegian School of Marketing.
The foundation for his business philosophy, coined The strawberry philosophy, stems from a deeply formative memory selling strawberries for his dad during his childhood summers. When complaining to his dad about the quality of the berries his dad retorted Sell the berries you have, they are the only berries you can sell” - so always making the most of the possibilities given to you, has been his guiding mantra through his business life.
Through his company Nordic Choice Hotels, Stordalen is well known for his annual winter conference for thousands of Nordic Choice Hotels employees usually held in Sweden. In addition to a big party that has previously included live camels, celebrities, and especially composed music and stage acts, Stordalen gives his employees a motivational speech that, in the media, has been likened to a religious revival.
After leaving Steen & Strøm Invest, Stordalen struck out on his own teaming up with investor Christen Sveaas. In October 1996 the duo bought 68 percent of the shares in the Scandinavian operations of Choice Hotels. In 1999 Christian Ringnes and his company Eiendomsspar acquired a 35 percent share in Choice Hotels Scandinavia.
Petter Stordalen, has bought into the large shopping center chain Sektor, along with two other major Norwegian partners: Joh. Johannson (Norgesgruppen), the major grocery retailer and wholesaler, and Varner Invest, which also owns clothing store chains including Dressman, Cubus, BikBok and Vivikes. Stordalen will be chairman of newly established Sektor Holding AS.
Home Invest with core business activities and emphasis on hotel management, property and asset management. Home Invest consists of Nordic Choice Hotels, Home Properties and Home Capital. Hurtigruten ASA have been suld to the British investment company TDR Capital. TDR Capital own 90 percent of Hurtigruten, Trygve Hegnar own 5 precent and Petter Stordalen own 5 precent.
Together with his wife, Gunhild Anker Stordalen he has founded the couple´s philanthropic organization, The Stordalen Foundation. The Stordalen Foundation focuses primarily on climate change: In 2002 Stordalen made headline news by joining a demonstration against the controversial nuclear waste plant in Sellafield.
In 2006 Stordalen want to Stop the decicion to dump huge masses of poisonous mud in the middle of the Oslofjord (Malmøkalven).
The dumping area is in the middle of the Oslofjord basin, approximately 3000 metres from the Oslo harbour and with several popular beaches only a few hundred metres away. Because of the huge amount of mud, the dumping is planned to go on for at least two years. The plan has led to a lot of opposition from the citizens of Oslo and the surrounding areas, and during the last weeks several campaigns has been started to try to stop the dumping. The protests have so far been ignored by the members of the City Council.
The opponents are afraid that the toxins will be spread over a large area, poisoning the marine life and make fish and shellfish inedible, and that the Oslofjord will end up as an area unsuitable for swimming and recreation. Some also claims that the tourists will prefer cities without toxic docks, and that the popular Oslofjord area will be abandoned by tourists.
Scandinavian Businessman of the Year 2004
Grand Travel Awards to Nordic for Best Scandinavian Hotel Chain (2007 and 2008) and Best Work Place (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011)
European Hotel Design Award 2008 for Stenungsbaden Yacht Club
Sweden´s most trusted brand 2008 from Reader"s Digest - European Trusted Brands for Selma SPA
Customer Excellence Award 2008 from Microsoft Business Solutions for Choice
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010