Retailers expanding and innovating in the Nordics

Date : 21 October 2019

We round up the latest news from retailers in Sweden, Finland and Norway as they grow their store presence, launch a digital baby influencer, celebrate their private label brand and trial new sustainable measures.

Sweden: Lidl opens 12th store in Gothenburg…

The new 800 sq. m store is expected to open in Q2 2020. It will be located in a new residential area in the Kviberg area, which is currently under construction.

Property manager Christoffer Wennergren commented, “It feels incredibly exciting that Kviberg is the site of Gothenburg's next Lidl store. This is one of the largest and most important urban development areas in Gothenburg, where Kviberg and Gamlestaden are growing together and in the future will be linked to Gothenburg city centre”.

…While ICA launches virtual baby influencer

Meanwhile, ICA has created Elis, a six months old virtual influencer. Elis can be found on Instagram under the account name @bebiselis. She will offer tips, host games and share her life experiences ranging from sleeping hours and feeding habits.

Paula Frösell, a dietician at ICA, said, “It feels incredibly exciting that we have Elis with us and that all followers are now invited to her world. Because she is so small, she cares most about things that young children belong to, but we will also make sure that her account becomes an educational and inspiring place for all toddler parents out there”.

ICA wants to offer parents “easy but informative advice and tips” on food and meals for their young children. Frösell explained, “Becoming a parent is for many people fun, scary and confusing, with Elis we want to help in that confusion and create an entertaining, educational and hopefully very rewarding place where you can get answers to questions about diet, health and everyday life”.

Source: ICA

…And Matvärlden opens new store in Vällingby

Elsewhere in Sweden, Matvärlden has launched a new 2,700 sq. m store. Located in Vällingby, the store comprises 17,000 products from around the world. It also focuses on its fresh offer with a large fresh food and deli counter, situated the front of the store.

The store is expected the generate sales of SEK200m (US$20.6m) in its second year. Currently, the retailer operates three stores in Tensta, Veddesta and now Vällingby. Matvärlden said it plans to open an additional two store in Stockholm in 2020. In the long term, Matvärlden hopes to open seven to eight new stores in Stockholm.

Source: Matvärlden

Norway: Meny celebrates ten years of its private label, Jacobs Utvalgte

In Norway, Meny is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its premium private label range, Jacobs Utvalgte. The name was chosen based on the Jacobs store in Holtet, Oslo, which has a reputation for its quality and high-end range.

When Jacobs Utvalgte was launched in 2009 it only included 42 SKUs. In 2018, the line generated sales of NOK540m (US$53m) and today, comprises over 200 SKUs spanning 27 product categories. The current best-selling products in the range include spelt bread, grain bread, organic eggs and orange juice.

Source: UNIL

Finland: K Group trials solar panels at K-Supermarket Hertta

In other news, K Group has installed 140 solar panels onto the façade of K-Supermarket Hertta in Helsinki. They are expected to generate 30 MWh of power annually. In addition, the store uses 100% renewable electricity, provided by Kesko.

Matti Kalervo, K Group’s vice president of corporate responsibility, commented, “Wall-mounted panels offer good solar power production potential for stores, offices and public buildings. Their production is especially high on late winter days, when the snow on the ground reflects the sun. The fact that snow does not pile up on wall panels the same way it does on roof panels is another advantage.”

K Group said another plant will be constructed at K-Supermarket Hanko in October 2019. It has also started construction to introduce plants at K-Citymarket Mäntsälä, K-Citymarket Rauma and K-Citymarket Rusko.

Kalervo added, “We have made the decision to have solar power plants installed at all new major stores we build. We will use the experiences gained from K-Supermarket Hertta to map out possibilities for utilising wall panels also in our other stores”. The retailer is one of the biggest producers of solar power in Finland with 32 solar power plants.

Source: K Group

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