Kesko and Oriola finalise establishment of joint venture; New chain’s name, concept to be announced

First stores and the online store of the new chain specialising in health, beauty and wellbeing will be opened in the autumn 2017.

Helsinki, 2017-Jul-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — In March of this year, Kesko and Oriola announced their intention to establish a new store chain specialising in comprehensive wellbeing across Finland. Finland’s Competition and Consumer Authority approved the establishment of the joint venture on 26 June 2017 and the establishment of the company has now been finalised. Both parties own 50 per cent of the new company.

The first phase objective is to build a chain of 100 stores and an online store. The plan is to expand the business to include pharmaceuticals if the legislation is amended. Approximately 15 stores will open by the end of 2017. The new chain is estimated to create 1,000 new jobs in Finland.

“Together with Oriola we will build a leading health, beauty and wellbeing chain that Finns can trust. Kesko has extensive experience in the grocery trade and a strong K consumer brand. Oriola, for its part, is a highly valued distributor of health and wellbeing products and an expert in the pharmaceutical sector. We will announce the chain’s name, concept and the location of the first stores in the next few months,” says Jorma Rauhala, Kesko’s Executive Vice President and President for the grocery trade.

“We are delighted that the establishment of the joint venture has now been finalised and its operation can begin. The preparations of the joint venture’s operation together with Kesko have proceeded extremely well and the first stores will be opened in the autumn,” says Kimmo Virtanen, Oriola’s Executive Vice President.

In the first phase, Kesko and Oriola will make a total investment of approximately €25 million in the joint venture.

Kesko and Oriola announced the joint venture with a stock exchange release on 13 March 2017. The future company’s management group will be that, which was named during the spring. Finland’s Competition and Consumer Authority gave permission to establish the company on 26 June  2017.

K Group

Kesko and K-retailers form K Group, whose sales total over €13 billion. K Group is the third largest retail operator in Northern Europe and it employs approximately 45,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko’s net sales are €10 billion and it employs approximately 30,000 people. Kesko has some 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company’s domicile and main business premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world’s most responsible trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). www.kesko.fi

Oriola

Oriola is a Finnish listed retail and wholesale company that distributes pharmaceuticals and health and wellbeing products. Oriola has a strong position in the pharmaceuticals market in Sweden, Finland and the Baltics. We promote people’s wellbeing by ensuring safe and efficient distribution of pharmaceuticals and healthcare consumer products and services to our customers. Oriola’s net sales are €1.6 billion, the company has 2,821 employees and 325 pharmacies in Sweden and Latvia. The company is headquartered in Espoo. www.oriola.com

Further information:

Karoliina Partanen
Vice President
Communications
Kesko grocery trade
tel. +358 40 584 5298
e-mail: karoliina.partanen@kesko.fi

Leena Lahti
Communications Manager
Oriola Oyj
tel. +358 50 367 3304
e-mail: leena.lahti@oriola.com

Source: Kesko Corporation

Kesko and Neste updates its Neste K service station concept to provide comprehensive service experience

HELSINKI, 2016-Mar-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kesko and Neste are leading Finnish service stations into a new era. The new Neste K service station concept has been built on the basis of customer feedback, resulting in a cosy milieu, a menu designed by a top chef, restrooms updated by an interior designer and high quality services for motorists. New Neste K service stations provide a comprehensive service experience, in line with the ‘Tactics for Better Stops’.

“The refurbishment of Neste K service stations is part of Kesko’s neighbourhood market strategy – we want to offer our customers high quality and personalised services quickly and easily. Motorists often stop at service stations only when they need to. In line with Neste K’s Tactics for Better Stops, we want to provide our customers with such a good service that all the people on the road will find Neste K a choice they cannot pass by without stopping. The change involves a new kind of service culture, which puts the customer and quality in the centre of all activities,” says Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President for Kesko’s grocery trade.

“The new Neste K station concept will further deepen our cooperation with Kesko. We are pleased to see that we share the aim of providing joy to customers on the move. Our own station network is very important for us, as it enables us to offer our customers high quality fuels, refined in Finland, as well as other products and services needed by motorists. We absolutely want to be profiled at the top of the stations in customer encounters and our service and product offering,” says Antti Tiitola, Executive Vice President for oil retail business area at Neste.

Neste K service stations will not be copies of each other but every station will have its special needs and opportunities depending on location and clientele.

“We want to give retailer entrepreneurs at Neste K service stations a chance to voice their own views – making each Neste K different and unique. Retailers know their customers and can tailor the station’s services and selections of food and groceries to meet their needs,” says Rauhala.

Tasty food and versatile services in pleasant premises

The aim of Neste K stations is to deliver a superior food experience to customers on the road. The stations will offer customers varied and high quality food, either consumed on site or taken away. The menu choices of the service stations have been designed by Pekka Terävä, an awarded top chef. Coffee lovers will be treated with an array of special coffees.

Neste K service stations range from compact 100 square metre city stations to nearly 2,000 square metre stations for long distance motorists. The leading idea in the design and use of space is to provide an ecological, cosy and functional ambience. The restrooms of Neste K service stations will be clean and pleasant. The premises designed by the interior design company dSign Vertti Kivi & Co make use of moving image and voice, for example.

Neste K service stations will provide their customers with tidy and modern refuelling yards and high quality additional services, such as free wifi in the restaurant, the Osta&Nosta cash withdrawal at checkouts service, a recharging point for electric cars, and the QuickWash car wash services based on the latest technology.

The first new Neste K station opened its doors at Teiskontie road in Tampere on 22 March 2016, and all the current 70 joint stations of Neste and Kesko are due to be changed and refurbished to become Neste K service stations by the end of 2017. The aim is to build a network of close to 100 Neste K stations. The total capital expenditure will be tens of millions of euros.

Further information:
Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President, grocery trade, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 5322 211
Mikko Paukkonen, Vice President, Neste K service station concept, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 50 567 9761
Antti Tiitola, Executive Vice President, oil retail business area, Neste Corporation, tel. +358 10 458 4273

K-Group

The about 40,000 exceptionally nice people of the K-Group work daily to make shopping fun for customers in our stores in the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Russia. We help our more than 1,500 stores serve their customers in the grocery trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade, and the car trade. We do our work with big heart while paying attention to society and the environment. We are already the most responsible food retailer in the world and are constantly trying out something new. We are doing this to provide good choices both on the shelves of the local stores and online.www.kesko.fi

Neste
Neste is a pioneer in oil refining and renewable solutions. We provide our customers with premium-quality products for cleaner traffic and industrial products based on world-class research. We are the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, and our annual production capacity is more than 2 million tons. We also are the world’s largest company providing renewable fuel from waste and residues. Our sustainable operations have received recognition in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies, among others. Our net sales for 2015 amounted to approximately EUR 11 billion, and our shares are listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Cleaner traffic, energy and life are moved forward by about 5,000 professionals. More information:
neste.com/en

K-food stores to reduce the prices of 2,000 products due to fall in raw material prices on the world market

K-food stores will reduce the prices of 2,000 products due to a fall in raw material prices on the world market and a decrease in costs. In the current economic situation, the price of food has become increasingly important to many consumers. At the same time, the role of food quality and local origin in making buying decisions is growing. Last year, the sales of products from local producers at K-stores increased by 15 per cent.

HELSINKI, Finland, 2016-Jan-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — “A continuous fall in consumer prices as long as this is highly exceptional. The last time was 50 years ago. As a result of it and a decrease in costs, K-food stores will reduce the prices of around 2,000 products. The adjustment of prices to market conditions is a perfectly normal operation in the grocery trade,” says Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President for Kesko’s grocery trade.

The purchase prices of grocery products change regularly, because raw material prices are affected by availability, the success of the crop, and the exchange rate changes of different countries. Raw materials are purchased in large quantities under long-term contracts, which is why there are delays in the pass-through of changes of world market prices to consumer prices. The Russian export ban has also markedly reduced the exports of Finnish foods, which, in turn, reduces consumer prices in Finland. In addition, Kesko has continued the enhancement of its own functions.

“We ought to remember that price is not the only deciding factor of a food store – food is a far too valuable issue to be discussed only in that respect. K-food stores are the quality leaders in the Finnish grocery trade. We provide Finnish consumers with the best food stores, at which excellent service, the most diversified selections and a comprehensive selection of local Finnish products meet. The sales of products from local producers at K-stores, for example, have grown on several consecutive years and last year, their sales increased by 15 per cent,” says Rauhala.

A competitive price level is a precondition for success in the Finnish grocery market. But in its role as the most responsible food retailer in the world, the K-Group’s duty is to take care of wellbeing throughout the food chain. Kesko and K-food retailers are continuously taking concrete actions in order to safeguard the vitality of Finnish food production. Examples of this include the launch of the “Thank the Producer” operating model, active participation in the Blue and White Footprint campaign and the Local Food Date events (Lähiruokatreffit) bringing together local producers, stores and consumers. Last year, K-retailers’ purchases of products from local suppliers were €570 million. The reduction of prices must not have a negative impact on the quality of Finnish food, or the vitality of primary production and the food manufacturing industry.

Price reductions will be implemented in one store chain at a time in January-February as follows: around 2,000 products at K-citymarkets, around 1,350 at K-supermarkets and around 550 products at K-markets. The first price reductions took effect at the beginning of January and the next reductions will be made in February.

Further information:
Senior Vice President Jorma Rauhala, Kesko, grocery trade, tel. +358 105 322 211
Vice President Ari Akseli, Kesko, grocery trade, tel. +358 10 532 3490
Vice President Karoliina Partanen, Kesko, grocery trade, communications, tel. +358 105 320 744

K-food retailers, with whom the Kesko grocery trade applies the chain business model, are responsible for customer satisfaction at more than 900 K-food stores. K-food store chains are K-citymarket, K-supermarket and K-market. K-food stores are the most responsible in the world in their sector. Their strengths also include superior fresh food departments, competent service, the widest selections, Finnish products and Pirkka. K-food stores provide both high quality and affordable prices.

K – for shopping to be fun.

SOURCE: KESKO

New kind of K-food store opened in Myllypuro, Helsinki

A new kind of K-food store opens in Myllypuro, Helsinki on 5 November. K-Myllypuro does not belong to any of the current K-food store chains, but is the K-Group’s test store where Kesko, in cooperation with the retailer entrepreneur, boldly experiments with various food store concepts and models. The test store also takes customer-orientation to a completely new level – customers decide how the store, its selections and services will develop in the future.

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-11-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — K-Myllypuro is an example of the implementation of the K-Group’s strategy and open-minded experimental culture. Agility enables fast testing of ideas in practice.

“We have been actively looking for influences from the world and studied both international and domestic retailing trends. Currently, our customers particularly value a food store’s location nearby and availability of local products, ease of shopping, and wide selections of fresh products, which also form the core of the test store. Our aim is to create a new food store concept for Finland, and the test store is an important step on this road,” says Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President for Kesko’s grocery trade.

Customers have been invited to join in the planning of the new store from the very beginning. The customer panel consisting of local residents started its work even before the opening.

“When building the new concept, one of the key issues is to adapt the store to the wishes of local customers, that is, the store is tailored to look like its customers,” says Rauhala.

Based on customer feedback and wishes so far, special attention has been paid to smooth and easy shopping. The name with a strong connection to the residential area was also suggested by the customer panel.

“While the store is opened in the current format, it may be somewhat different in a year’s time. We will collect feedback on store operations from local customer panels, for example, and develop our operations based on this,” says Aleksi Tapani, retailer of K-Myllypuro.

K-Myllypuro provides all products for daily cooking. The focus is on fresh products and the K-Group’s own brands: the versatile and low-priced Pirkka and the budget brand K-Menu. The store also sells selected batches of items at very low prices.

Further information:
Aleksi Tapani, K-retailer, tel. +358 50 4219944
Mika Rautiainen, Vice President, marketing and concept services, tel. +358 50 4136584

See the video presenting K-Myllypuro (in Finnish)

SOURCE: Kesko Corporation

Kesko names Karoliina Partanen grocery trade division’s VP Communications

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-5-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Karoliina Partanen, 38, M.Sc. (Soc.), has been appointed Kesko’s grocery trade division’s (Kesko Food Ltd) Vice President, Communications and a member of the Management Board as of 11 May 2015.

She has previously worked for nearly 10 years for Metso Corporation in various executive positions in global communications, marketing and brand management, most recently as Vice President, Global Marketing & Brand.

Before Metso, Karoliina Partanen worked for management consultancy Pohjoisranta Burson-Marsteller as Senior Advisor.

The position of the Vice President, Communications is a new one in Kesko’s grocery trade division.

Ari Svensk appointed grocery trade division’s Vice President, Human Resources

Ari Svensk, 51, M.Sc. (Econ.), has been appointed Kesko grocery trade division’s (Kesko Food Ltd) Vice President responsible for human resources and a member of the Management Board as of 1 June 2015. He has previously held various executive positions in Kesko Food’s business; most recently Svensk has been Kesko’s Vice President, Human Resources and Managing Director of K-instituutti Oy.

The grocery trade division is Kesko’s largest division. In 2014, its net sales totalled €4.7 billion.

Both Karoliina Partanen and Ari Svensk will report to Senior Vice President Jorma Rauhala.

Further information:

Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President, grocery trade division, tel. +358 105 322 211

Lauri Peltola, Senior Vice President, corporate responsibility, communications and stakeholder relations, tel. +358 105 322 400

Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is a retail specialist whose stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers. Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus.

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Starbucks Coffee Company and Kesko Food entered into new licensing agreement to open Starbucks stores within K-stores throughout Finland

Agreement to open Starbucks stores at grocery locations owned by the Finnish retailer.

HELSINKI, Finland, 2015-4-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Company and Kesko Food have entered into a new licensing agreement to open Starbucks stores within K-stores throughout Finland. The first store will open in K-citymarket Sello in Espoo later this year, with further locations planned for key business areas, including outside greater Helsinki.

Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President, Kesko’s grocery trade division adds, “We are very excited about the partnership agreement now signed with Starbucks. We aim to offer K-store customers a new kind of experience by providing them with an opportunity to spend some high quality time in a coffee house when they do their groceries, Starbucks is the best solution for this. The core of Starbucks operations lies in delivering a superior customer experience. This is also of key importance for K-stores and the common factor that provides a strong connection between Starbucks and Kesko.”

Arjan Oudejans, vice president, Branded Solutions at Starbucks EMEA said: “People in Finland drink more coffee on average than almost any other country globally, so this is a great opportunity for us to bring our premium coffee to Finnish coffee fans. We’re delighted to partner with Kesko to expand our presence in Finland. High quality products and service, and a focus on customer connection and ethical business practices, are shared values for both companies. Furthermore Starbucks wants to be where our customers are, this makes Kesko a great partner in the Finnish grocery channel.”

This announcement demonstrates Starbucks commitment to reach more customers across Europe. Starbucks opened its first store in Finland at Helsinki Airport in 2012; there are now nearly 2,200 Starbucks locations across the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Kesko is Finland’s leading retailer and key operators in the grocery channel, with about 2,000 stores in the Nordics and Baltic regions, Russia and Belarus. The recruitment of employees for the new store will begin in April.

For more information please contact:
Jorma Rauhala, Senior Vice President, Kesko’s grocery trade division, tel. +358 10 5322 211, jorma.rauhala@kesko.fi
Mika Rautiainen, Vice President, marketing and concept services, tel. +358 10 5322 090,  mika.rautiainen@kesko.fi

For Starbucks media enquiries please contact: EMEACommunications@starbucks.com

About Kesko
K-food retailers, with whom Kesko grocery trade applies the chain business model, are responsible for customer satisfaction at more than 900 K-food stores. K-food store chains are K-citymarket, K-supermarket, K-market and K-extra. K-food stores are the most responsible in the world in their sector. Their strengths also include superior fresh food departments, competent service, the widest selections, Finnish products and the Pirkka brand. K-food stores provide both high quality and favourable prices.

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Corporation has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at Starbucks.com.

Kesko to revise the Group’s divisional structure by integrating non-food part of K-citymarket chain into Kesko Food Ltd

Kesko will revise the Group’s divisional structure by integrating K-citymarket Oy, the non-food part of the K-citymarket chain currently part of the home and speciality goods division, into Kesko Food Ltd. Kesko’s food trade division will be changed to the grocery trade division. The currently separate divisions of the building and home improvement trade and the home and speciality goods trade will be combined into the home improvement and speciality goods trade division. Starting from 1 January 2015, Kesko Group’s reportable segments will be the grocery trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade, and the car and machinery trade.

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-11-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The change in the divisional structure is aimed to provide a uniform customer experience and improve customer satisfaction in all of the divisions’ chain stores. The objective is to enable customers to have an easier multi-channel shopping experience at physical and online stores, as well as to increase competitiveness and improve profitability.

Kesko Food Ltd’s President Jorma Rauhala, 49, M.Sc. (Econ.), has been appointed Senior Vice President for the grocery trade division and Rautakesko Ltd’s President Terho Kalliokoski, 52, M.Sc. (Econ.), has been appointed Senior Vice President for the home improvement and speciality goods trade division. The appointments will take effect from 1 January 2015.

Cooperation negotiations about changes planned in Kesko’s divisional structure

Cooperation negotiations about changes planned in Kesko’s home and speciality goods trade, building and home improvement trade and food trade were started on 7 October 2014 in Kesko’s home and speciality goods trade companies and building and home improvement trade companies in Finland and in Kesko Food Ltd, Kesko Corporation and K-Plus Oy. The negotiations were completed on 24 November 2014. A total of approximately 2,800 people were included in the negotiations and the combined reduction need in the companies was estimated at a maximum of 230 full-time equivalents. As a result of the negotiations, the total need for reductions in personnel was confirmed at 193 full-time equivalents. The reductions also include possible pension plans and terminations of fixed-term employments.

Kesko will today publish separate press releases about the operational objectives and a more detailed organisation of the grocery trade and the home improvement and speciality goods trade.

Kesko has announced the matter previously in a stock exchange release on 24 September 2014 and 7 October 2014.

The cooperation negotiations started in VV-Auto Group Oy and VV-Autotalot Oy on 23 September 2014 were completed on 12 November 2014. A total of approximately 700 people were included in the negotiations and initially, the reduction need was estimated at a maximum of 49 full-time equivalents. As a result of the negotiations, the need for reductions in personnel was confirmed at 34 full-time equivalents.

The presentations of Kesko’s present divisions are available at http://www.kesko.fi/fi/Kesko-yrityksena/Toimialat/ and the presentations of Jorma Rauhala and Terho Kalliokoski are available at http://www.kesko.fi/fi/Kesko-yrityksena/Hallinto-ja-johto/Konsernijohtoryhma/

Further information:
President and CEO Matti Halmesmäki, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 105 322 201
Executive Vice President Mikko Helander, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 105 322 301

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

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Main news media
www.kesko.fi