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Finland retailing market: Saw positive growth during 2012
Retailing in Finland - a new market research report on 2014-03-05 16:37:01
The Finland retailing market experienced positive current value growth in 2012 despite challenging economic conditions and lower consumer confidence in the Finnish economy. As some channels faced decline, others saw healthy and even dynamic growth as consumer shopping patterns changed. These changes appear to be permanent, with internet retailing and hypermarkets growing at the expense of smaller and more traditional retailers.

The move from brick to click was rapid in pace over 2010-2012. It became evident that the leading companies were heavily focused on well-functioning and successful internet sites. All important retailers in Finland have moved towards a multi-channel strategy in order to not miss out on the boom in internet retailing. As Finnish retailers had been slow to expand to the internet during the earlier years of the review period, they were now also battling against strong international internet retailers as Finnish consumers freely browsed and compared prices online and were not afraid to place orders through non-domestic companies, of which many also offered services in Finnish.

Grocery retailers performed only slightly better than non-grocery retailers in 2012. However, although hypermarkets posted good growth, non-grocery retailing continued to lose sales to the internet whilst grocery internet retailing still had low penetration despite dynamic value growth. In addition, consumers also found it increasingly convenient to shop at hypermarkets for non-grocery products while doing their everyday shopping.

Changes in the competitive landscape could clearly be seen in 2012 after the government decided to liberalise opening hours at the end of 2009. This allowed outlets under 400 sq m to stay open around the clock, with a few public holiday exceptions. By 2012, Finnish retailers had already done their experimenting to see which opening hours suited them and were the most profitable. Staying open longer, however, was a heavy blow to smaller outlets under 100 sq m, which had previously had the right to stay open for longer. In addition, generally speaking, smaller outlets were struggling against the increasing power of stronger chains, which resulted in fiercer competition in the Finnish retailing market.

Finnish retailing is predicted positive value growth over the forecast period. However, as some channels will witness booming growth, others will have to battle falling incomes. Adopting a multi-channel approach will be of great importance due to the dynamic growth of internet retailing in Finland. Moreover, taking consumer trends and needs into consideration will remain vital in Finnish retailing as it will determine whether retailers fail or prevail.

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