S Group’s regional cooperatives to acquire Stockmann Delicatessen business operations in Finland

S Group’s regional cooperatives to acquire Stockmann Delicatessen business operations in Finland

 

Helsinki, Finland, 2017-Jul-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Stockmann and S Group have signed an agreement on the transfer of the Stockmann Delicatessen business operations in Finland to S Group’s regional cooperatives. The purpose of the transaction is to develop the Delicatessen stores into European top-level flagship stores.

The transaction is pending approval from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. The goal is to get the approval granted latest by the end of 2017. If approval is granted by that time, the transaction can be executed on 31 December 2017. If the transaction is implemented, all Stockmann Delicatessen employees in Finland will transfer to S Group as existing employees, and the Delicatessen stores will remain in all the Stockmann department stores.

“This is a historic moment for S Group and three of our cooperatives: HOK-Elanto, the Tampere Regional Cooperative and the Turku Regional Cooperative. Everyone in Finland is familiar with the strong Stockmann Delicatessen brand, and we hold it in extremely high regard as well,” says Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President at SOK.

“Stockmann Delicatessen is an institution and a key part of our department stores, now and in the future. We have found an excellent partner that has the willingness and resources to further develop Delicatessen in a competitive manner and to ensure that our customers will continue to have access to excellent service and selections,” says Lauri Veijalainen, CEO of Stockmann.

“A learning opportunity for S Group”

According to Laine, the integration of the Delicatessen stores into S Group would be in line with the Group’s current strategy, which was announced in 2015. S Group aims to improve its range of products and quality of service.

“Our goal is to develop the Delicatessen stores into S Group’s flagship stores. We are aiming for the top level in Europe, and the Delicatessen stores’ highly competent employees will play a crucial role in this respect. We have a great deal to learn from them,” says Laine.

“And the prices will decrease,” he adds.

In accordance with its strategy, Stockmann has been looking for partners that complement the product mix at its department stores and offer new services and experiences for its customers.

“Changes in procurement and logistics operations in particular have affected Stockmann Delicatessen’s competitiveness and accelerated our search for a partner. We are confident that our customers will continue to have access to the best grocery store services in Finland,” says Veijalainen.

What will Delicatessen be like in the future?

S Group is not allowed to participate in Delicatessen’s business operations or their development while approval from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority is pending. Furthermore, Stockmann cannot comment on future plans and wishes directed to S Group concerning Delicatessen.

“We want to understand Delicatessen’s customers and their hopes and thoughts. We invite them to discuss the Delicatessen of the future with us. First, we will listen very carefully, and we will engage in active dialogue once the transaction has been approved by the Competition and Consumer Authority,” says Laine.

In the planned transaction, the Delicatessen stores in the centre of Helsinki, Tapiola and in the Itis and Jumbo shopping centres will be transferred to HOK-Elanto. The Delicatessen store in Turku will be transferred to the Turku Regional Cooperative, and the store in Tampere to the Tampere Regional Cooperative.  The Stockmann Delicatessen chain operations will be transferred to SOK. The Stockmann Delicatessen kitchen, which prepares Stockmann Meals foods, will be transferred to Meira Nova, a subsidiary of SOK. The Delicatessen business operations in the Stockmann department stores in the Baltic countries will remain with Stockmann.

More information:

Arttu Laine
Executive Vice President
SOK
tel. +358 10 76 81011

Lauri Veijalainen
CEO, Stockmann
tel. +358 9 121 5062

Source: S Group

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Finland: S Group plans to close Marks & Spencer stores in Hämeenlinna and Lappeenranta

Finland: S Group plans to close Marks & Spencer stores in Hämeenlinna and Lappeenranta
Finland: S Group plans to close Marks & Spencer stores in Hämeenlinna and Lappeenranta

 

Finland, 2016-Nov-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — S Group is planning to streamline its franchise operations of the Marks & Spencer chain in Finland. The plans may lead to the closing of the Marks & Spencer stores in Hämeenlinna and Lappeenranta and the reduction of space at other stores in Finland.

S Group opened the first franchise Finnish store of the British Marks & Spencer chain two years ago in Helsinki, and currently there are six Marks & Spencer stores in Finland in total. S Group’s Marks & Spencer stores operate on a franchising agreement in Finland, and S Group’s regional co-operatives are mainly responsible for the operations.

“Our objective is that S Group’s department store and speciality store business is competitive, attractive to customers and profitable. Customers have been satisfied with the selections of Marks & Spencer, as well as the price-quality ratio of the products, but we need to make our operating model more efficient to also reach our financial objectives,” says Arttu Laine, executive vice president, SOK.

“The clothing market has been slow in Finland for a long time, and as a result our franchise business with Marks & Spencer has not developed quite according to our targets, and we need measures to increase synergy, among other things, at S Group to improve the profitability of the chain”, Laine continues.

James Harvey, Head of International Franchise at Marks & Spencer, said: “We are committed to our franchise business in Finland and continuing to offer our customers quality, stylish clothing. The proposals our franchise partner S Group has set out today will enable them to focus on improving customers’ shopping experience and driving profitability at our Finnish stores.”

S Group’s objective is, among other things, to make the use of space at Marks & Spencer stores more efficient. The plans may lead to the closing of the Marks & Spencer stores in Hämeenlinna and Lappeenranta during 2017.

Because of the plans to improve the profitability of the Marks & Spencer chain, statutory labour negotiations concerning all staff members will be started at SOK’s Marks & Spencer chain management and the Marks & Spencer stores of the Hämeenmaa Cooperative Society in Hämeenlinna, the Southern Karelia Cooperative Society in Lappeenranta, the Keskimaa Cooperative Society in Jyväskylä and the Cooperative Society Varuboden-Osla Handelslag in Porvoo.

At the most, the plans may lead to the termination of the employment of approximately 15 people at S Group’s Marks & Spencer chain management and Marks & Spencer stores. Every effort will be made to minimize the impact on staff and, for instance, employees of the cooperatives in which labour negotiations take place will be offered jobs at other outlets of each cooperative where possible.

The statutory labour negotiations do not concern the staff of S Group’s Marks & Spencer stores in Helsinki and Tampere or other S Group outlets. The objective is that the plans related to streamlining the Marks & Spencer chain are fully completed by the spring 2017.

Marks & Spencer

S Group

  • S Group is a renowned Finnish cooperative group of companies operating in the retail sector. Its key business areas are supermarket trade, department stores and speciality stores, hardware trade, service station store and fuel sales, as well as the travel industry and hospitality business.
  • S Group consists of SOK Corporation, 20 independent regional cooperatives and eight local cooperatives.
  • S Group has collaborated with Marks & Spencer since 2014, and it currently has six M&S stores in Finland.

Contact:

Arttu Laine
Executive Vice President
SOK
tel. +358 10 76 81011

Marks & Spencer
Corporate PR
corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com
tel. +44 20 8718 1919

Source: S Group

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SOK to join S Group’s hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods

HELSINKI, 2015-11-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — SOK will join S Group’s hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods. The statutory labour negotiations related to the upgrade have been concluded, resulting in fewer than 30 people’s contracts being terminated.

The goal of S Group is to more effectively utilise the strengths of the food and consumer goods trade in the hardware trade. SOK will discontinue SOK Hardware functions and join S Group’s hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods. This will bring more synergy benefits and cost-efficiency to S Group’s hardware functions.

“We are seeking new growth opportunities and making our operations more effective. For example, volumes will grow when we connect SOK Hardware’s procurement to that of SOK Food and Consumer Goods. This is of significance in the increasingly international operating environment of the hardware trade. Unfortunately, the steps taken will also have an impact on SOK’s staff”, says Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President of SOK, S-Group Chain Operations, Procurement and Logistics.

In hardware sales, S Group will also more extensively focus on a multichannel approach that covers online and physical stores, in hardware’s chains (Kodin Terra and S-Rauta) as well as in the chains of food and consumer goods’ (Prisma and S-market).

One reason behind the change is that a transition is underway in traditional hardware store sales. In addition to hardware store chains and specialised stores, interior design, yard and gardening, and construction products are being sold to an increasing extent at supermarkets, in discount stores and online. Many Prisma stores already provide building and renovation products.

The negotiations covered all staff members of SOK Hardware, and some staff members of SOK Food and Consumer Goods.  The original estimate was that a maximum of 30 people would be let go.

The negotiations did not cover the other operations of SOK and SOK Corporation, such as S-Verkkopalvelut Ltd or Inex Partners Ltd.

The negotiations will not affect the employees of the regional cooperatives, S Group hardware outlets, or the services provided for co-op members.

SOK Media Service 

Enquiries tel. 010 76 86169 (EUR 0.0835 per call + EUR 0.1209 per minute) or viestinta@sok.fi

SOURCE: SOK

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SOK to join S Group's hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods

SOK to join S Group’s hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods

S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation

HELSINKI, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — SOK is beginning statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation. The negotiations may lead to a maximum of 25 employees being made redundant.

In accordance with the competition strategy determined for S Group’s consumer goods trade in 2014, department store and speciality store trade within S Group is focusing on fashion, beauty and interior design.

“S Group is strongly committed to the department store and speciality store trade, now and in the future. The goal is for our department store and speciality store trade to be profitable, competitive and attractive to customers,” says Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President at SOK.

Over the past two years, S Group and SOK have worked to develop their department store and speciality store trade in line with their competition strategy, and they have resumed an upward trend despite the difficult overall economic situation.

“However, we need to implement further measures at SOK to achieve our targets. We need to improve our cost-efficiency and synergies between operations, for example. We are seeking to minimise the effects of these measures on our employees. Unfortunately, such effects cannot be entirely avoided,” says Laine.

The statutory labour negotiations concern all employees in SOK Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management.  The negotiations do not concern other operations of SOK or SOK Corporation, such as SOK Marks & Spencer Chain Management or SOK Food and Consumer Goods Chain Management.

The statutory labour negotiations will not affect the employees of the regional cooperatives or the services provided for co-op members.

The goal is to finalise the plans for enhancing the efficiency of the SOK Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation by the beginning of November.

Additional information: Executive Vice President Arttu Laine, S-Group Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics, tel. +358 10 76 81011.

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S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation

S Group: SOK begin statutory labour negotiations to enhance the efficiency of its Department Store and Speciality Store Chain Management organisation