Big box-formats seek Helsinki city centre locations

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Several small sized chains has left Finland and mainly city malls recent years. But in Helsinki, big-box concepts now take over the sites.
“It has become more important to be where the footfall is,” says Kai Keturi at Newsec to Hufvudstadsbladet.
At the same time several Scandinavian concepts expand rapidly in Finland.

The mobility in the Finnish trade is more extensive than it has been in decades. The recession and structural transformation has left its mark. Several international footwear and fashion chains have simply given up on the Finnish market at the same time as Finnish brands Seppälä, Musta Pörssi and Stockmann Beauty leaves empty spaces.
But a number of concepts that take large areas are now taking place in the city.
Gigantti has recently moved in one floor down in Forum, Expert will soon move into Stockmann. Sports chains as XXL do what they’ve done in Oslo and Stockholm and opens a central store in Kluuvi Mall.
“It is a form of marketing. A place in the center offers greater visibility than in the periphery, “says Kai Keturi.
In addition, Habitat recently moved into 1,400 square meters of Citycenter and the S Group has converted a large part of Sokos to Marks & Spencer.
Hufvudstadsbladet also notes that the Norwegian Varner Group chain Bik Bok and Danish Tiger (TGR in Sweden) have a fast growth. Tiger has opened 22 stores in Finland in two years, ten in the Helsinki region.
“Finnish consumers seem to be more interested in foreign brands,” says Jaakko Aspara, Professor at Hanken School of Economics, to Hufvudstadsbladet who also believes Finnish brands should be better defining their market position and target groups.