Finland: mixed reactions to relaxed trading legislation

Date : 16 December 2015

Finnish market leader S Group is to extend the opening hours of 500 stores, following a decision in the Finnish government to relax trading legislation.

Change to affect largest and smallest stores

The change will affect stores of varying size across the retailer’s portfolio, including hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores.

S Group: move gives power to the customer

Commenting on the development, Ilkka Alarotu of S Group said, ‘Our clients must be allowed to choose for themselves when they visit the store. [By] extending the opening hours we give them more power to their own schedules’.

Kesko and Lidl more selective

Commenting on the change, Jorma Rauhala, the head of grocery trade at Kesko said, 'The differences in when consumers need access to the shops can be considerable even within municipalities. We won't start dictating in Helsinki when K-stores in Lapland should open'.

Lauri Sipponen, CEO of Lidl Finland said, 'This has to correlate with genuine needs and revenue trends. Longer opening hours shouldn't create pressure to raise prices'.

Elsewhere in Europe…

Danish retailer, Dansk Supermarked has started a trial of 24-hour shopping at the first of its Bilka hypermarkets, as well as extending 24-hour opening to two more of its Netto discount stores.