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
tel. +358 10 76 81011

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

Source: S Group


FINLAND: Iso Omena shopping centre to complete extension and redevelopment in April 2017

FINLAND: Iso Omena shopping centre to complete extension and redevelopment in April 2017


Helsinki, 2016-Dec-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Iso Omena is becoming a top leisure and entertainment centre in the Helsinki metropolitan area, reflecting Citycon’s strategic focus to combine everyday services and entertainment activities.

Citycon’s extension and (re)development project at the Iso Omena shopping centre in Espoo in the Helsinki area will be complete in April 2017, when the second phase is set to open. With the signing of several major new tenants, 95% of the shopping centre has already been leased.

Iso Omena will soon be the leading leisure and entertainment centre in the Helsinki metropolitan area. In November, a lease agreement was signed with Duudsonit Activity Park, a well known and attractive brand in Finland. The adventure park will be located on the second floor of Iso Omena, taking the place of the library and movie theatre, which are moving to new locations. Set to open in autumn 2017, the 4,000 sq.m. park will feature activities and amusements that appeal to both adults and children, along with an adjacent outdoor patio area. This will be the chain’s first adventure park in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

In addition to the expanded entertainment offering, the second phase of the Iso Omena enlargement will see the arrival of several top fashion brands, including Espoo’s first Zara and the recently signed Levi’s store. This follows the opening of a new Nespresso store last month.

The Iso Omena restaurant world M.E.E.T (Meet. Eat. Enjoy. Together) is also set to grow next spring, with the addition of about 30 new restaurants when the second phase opens. This will make Iso Omena home to the most diverse shopping centre restaurant cluster in the Nordic countries, offering a choice of 50 different restaurants and cafés with seating for 3,000 customers.

The 5,000 sq.m. restaurant world is unique not only because of its size, but also thanks to its extensive selection and high level of service and quality. M.E.E.T will bring to Iso Omena a strong urban vibe; many of the new restaurants have operated only in the centre of Helsinki until now.

The restaurant world and Duudsonit Activity Park will be complemented by a seven-screen movie theatre, the largest in Espoo. Set to open in April, the new Finnkino theatre will have over 900 seats, and its theatres will be equipped with the most advanced audio and visual systems.

“Iso Omena is an excellent example of Citycon’s strategy of developing shopping centres in which diverse everyday shopping and services are complemented by an increasing variety of dining options and leisure and entertainment activities, as well as public services,” says Jurn Hoeksema, Chief Operating Officer at Citycon.

Citycon Oyj (Nasdaq Helsinki: CTY1S) is a leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The company manages a property portfolio that totals approximately EUR 5 billion and its shares have a market value of approximately EUR 2 billion. For more information about Citycon, please visit www.citycon.com


Jurn Hoeksema
Chief Operating Officer
Tel. +46 70 385 1059

Source: Citycon Oyj


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.


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

Marks & Spencer
Corporate PR
tel. +44 20 8718 1919

Source: S Group


K-Plussa to be the most personally rewarding customer loyalty programme in Finland

Helsinki, Finland, 2016-Aug-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — The K-Group’s customer loyalty programme Plussa will become increasingly personalized in October 2016. At the same time, Plussa will be digitized and it will reward customers that patronize the K-Group.

The aim of the revised K-Plussa is to improve the customer experience by recognizing customers with personally targeted benefits. The customer gets personally tailored Plussa special offers based on their purchasing habits. More than 3.6 million Finnish people have a Plussa card in nearly 2.3 million households.

– Plussa aims to be the most personally rewarding customer loyalty programme in Finland.  We will offer our customers precisely those products which they would choose anyway, but at more affordable prices. The more often you use the Plussa card, the better and more personalized it becomes, says Anni Ronkainen, SVP, Chief Digital Officer of Kesko.

The K-Plussa customer loyalty programme will be revised in early October. One of the most significant changes is its digitization. As of the beginning of October, customers can use the collected Plussa points as electronic Plussa money conveniently with the Plussa card at the K-Group stores. Plussa points will continue to be calculated in the same way as before the revision. In this context, printed points vouchers and the payment of points to bank accounts can be abandoned. You can monitor your Plussa account using a mobile application or on the web.

A customer programme with personalized product and service benefits will be built jointly with the K-Group chains and the partner network for customers who concentrate their purchases on the K-Group. The programme is targeted to customers whose annual purchases from the K-Group stores exceed €6,500.

K-Plussa is a unifying factor in the K-Group. The entire K is involved in the development of the customer loyalty programme taking account of customer wishes. The new features to be introduced in October are only the beginning of Plussa’s long-term development.

– A personalized approach is the K-Group’s most important differentiation element in Kesko’s strategy. K-Plussa offers the most personalized benefits from Finland’s widest store and partner network, says Ronkainen.

SVP, Chief Digital Officer Anni Ronkainen will present the K-Plussa revision at Kesko’s half year financial report briefing today at 11.30. The briefing will be held at Katajanokka, Helsinki, Ankkurikatu 5, fourth floor.

K-Plussa is the most extensive and diverse customer loyalty programme in Finland, which offers benefits to its customers from over 3,000 shopping places and over 40 business partners. There are over 3.6 million K-Plussa cardholders in nearly 2.3 million households in Finland. Further information at: www.plussa.com.


Tapio Näveri
tel. +358 105 337 170

Source: Kesko

S Group invites ideas on renewing the Kera district in Espoo, Finland

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2015-10-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — S Group is inviting ideas people, start-ups, students and researchers to brainstorm and create visions for renewing the Kera district in Espoo. S Group’s logistics centre will be relocated from Kera to another location in the next few years, which means that the industrial area can be reclassified as a residential area.

The vision is to make Kera a “20-minute district”. The goal is that Kera residents would be able to reach anywhere in Espoo, as well as the centre of Helsinki, in 20 minutes without having to use their own cars.

Brainstorming based on circular economy

A particular challenge in the contest is to redefine the old industrial area as a lively, inspiring residential area. The goal is to find sustainable, practical, innovative and smart solutions that will make Kera a pleasant, lively district. The purpose is to brainstorm ideas for the district’s different developmental stages and specify how to make the changes in an interesting way, as well as the kinds of services that could be implemented in the district, starting from the initial scenario all the way to executing the vision for the Kera district.

According to the principles of the circular economy, it is possible to reuse and recycle the S Group logistics centre’s existing structures, the district’s industrial buildings and related demolition and waste material in future urban development.

The only Finnish-based location in the challenge

The Kera district is the only project in Finland selected by Nordic Innovation (working under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers) in the Nordic Built Cities Challenge.  The competition includes five other Nordic projects. Nordic Built Cities is one of the Council’s flagship projects.

The challenge is about sustainability, being smart, lively, engaging in Nordic cooperation, and having export potential. The best four ideas related to the Kera district will each receive around €30,000 in further development funding. The best four teams will also get to compete at the Nordic level in the Nordic Built Cities Challenge Awards, with other top teams.

The first stage of the challenge is from 7 October to 17 December 2015.

Read more and join in: www.nordicbuiltcities.org/thechallenge

More information:

Raija Rinta-Erkkilä, Project Manager, SOK Real Estate, +358 10 76 82 210



S Group invites ideas on renewing the Kera district in Espoo, Finland

S Group invites ideas on renewing the Kera district in Espoo, Finland