Stockmann shuts down Seppälä in Russia

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Stockmann sets out Hobby Hall for sale and closes all Seppälä stores in Russia.

“Seppälä’s not gone well, but the hardcore reason has been on the Russian side”, says Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Chairman of the board at Stockmann.

But analytics fear that Seppälä might close down in Finland too.

At the same time Lindex will have a new board.

Mail order company Hobby Hall is looking for new owners. Hobby Hall’s annual revenue is approximately 100 million EUR and it has over half a million loyal customers in Finland.

As for Seppälä, the Board of Directors has decided that Seppälä’s remaining 16 stores in Russia will be gradually closed during the rest of 2014 and during 2015.
This is a part of the new strategy Stockmann made public today

Analyst Sauli Vilén estimates that Stockmann will continue to return to its roots and focus on department stores and real estate ownership.

“Seppälä’s story has a happy ending, it will be shut down,” Sauli Vilén tells Talouselämä.

But Chairman Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, is not as pessimistic and says the biggest problem in Seppälä is found on the Russian market and that the changes for Seppälä will be positive.

In the Fashion Chains division the company believes that Lindex, which has operations in 16 countries, has the biggest development potential.

To support Lindex’s strategy, the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting elected an operational Board of Directors for AB Lindex. In the new Board, three members will represent Stockmann and two members are independent of the company and its significant shareholders. One additional, independent Board member is expected to be elected later during the year. The Board previously consisted of members of the Stockmann Group’s management.

The new chairman of the Board is Per Sjödell, a member of the Stockmann Board of Directors and Managing Director of Fiskars Sweden. Stockmann’s CFO Pekka Vähähyyppä, and Board Member and Chief Strategy Officer Kjell Sundström are also representing Stockmann in the Board.

Tracy Stone and Rossana Mariano have been elected to the Board of Directors and they bring extensive experience in the fashion and retail industries, and international expansion. Tracy Stone, born 1962, UK citizen, works as Global Sales Director at GANT. Prior to her current position, she worked as Managing Director of GANT UK, Head of Beauty at House of Fraser, Sales and Retail Director at SpaceNK, and Retail Operations Manager at Selfridges. Rossana Mariano, born 1962, Swedish citizen, is the CEO and founder of RMPR, a leading Swedish lifestyle PR agency. She has wide knowledge of fashion and media industries with experience from Damernas Värld magazine, H&M, Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) and consulting clients such as Louis Vuitton, Canada Goose, Gudrun Sjödén, and L’Occitane.

Caroline Kull Magnusson and Ann-Britt Neckvall, with Clary Erenmalm as their deputy, continue as employee representatives in the Board of Directors.