Stockmann’s fashion chain Seppälä will have a new owner in April.
CEO Eveliina Melentjeff and her husband Timo Melentjeff will take take over the chain in a management buyout.
”This will cover 82 stores in Finland and 20 in Estonia and secure the continuity of the Seppälä brand and its over 80-year heritage,” says Eveliina Melentjeff.
Stockmann has signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the selling of its subsidiary, Seppälä Oy, in a management buyout to Seppälä’s current CEO, Eveliina Melentjeff and her husband Timo Melentjeff.
The transaction will take place on 1 April 2015 and will cover 82 Seppälä stores in Finland and 20 in Estonia.
According to its new strategy, Stockmann will focus on its key businesses, Stockmann Retail, Real Estate and Lindex, and will gradually withdraw from its other businesses.
Going forward, Seppälä will have a committed owner that is fully focused on rejuvenating Seppälä’s operations in its main markets, writes Stockmann in a press release Monday morning.
”This transaction will secure the continuity of the Seppälä brand and its over 80-year heritage. Seppälä will continue to have the widest network of fashion stores in Finland. The buyout will also help to sustain a business which will employ around 500 people in Finland, and with these dedicated fashion experts we will put Seppälä back in people’s minds,” comments Eveliina Melentjeff, CEO of Seppälä.
In different interviews on Monday, Melentjeff says single stores will have more independency and that the chain has been to unfocused trying to please the markets in Russia, Baltics and Finland at the same time.
”We need to re-conqeur the Finnish woman”, she says.
There are also signs of a more youthful approach in the fashion assortment.
After the codetermination negotiations that ended in December, Seppälä decided to downsize its store network by 41 stores in Finland and the reductions will affect approximately 200 people in the stores. Seppälä will continue to have over 100 stores in Finland and Estonia, and will employ around 600 people in these two countries.
The remaining stores in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia will be closed down.
Eveliina Melentjeff has been head of the Stockmann department store in Estonia and Lindex Finland before Seppälä.
Analysts believe the transaction is made with a symbolic amount.
Seppälä’s revenue in 2014 was 92.6 million EUR.