Bright prospects for the specialty goods retail trade in Finland

Fashion retail leads the way as specialty goods companies foresee growth for the first half of 2010.

A survey by the Speciality Goods' Association of Finland shows that 77% of companies in the sector forecast more than 2% growth in sales during the period January-June 2010. The most positive expectations are in the fashion retail sector, while prospects for home appliance sales are also very encouraging. In the fashion retail sector 60% of companies expect sales to grow by 2-6% in the period January-June 2010. A third of fashion retail companies forecast growth of 6-10% and the most optimistic up to 10% growth. Sales had already grown for 61% of the companies participating in the survey during the period July-December 2009.

In 2009 Finns spent a total of almost EUR 4.5 billion – about EUR 833 per capita – on clothes, shoes and fabrics, according to the Association of Fashion Retailers in Finland. Clothes sales totaled EUR 3.4 billion (about EUR 639 per person), shoes about EUR 500 million (EUR 80 per person), fabrics over EUR 500 million (almost EUR 100 per person), and bags and leather accessories over EUR 80 million (EUR 16/person). More than half of the purchases consisted of women’s clothes, a third of men’s clothes, and the rest of young people’s clothes.

Consumer confidence in the Finnish economy continued to strengthen in February, according to data based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey. Many Finns plan to spend money on travel, home repairs and durable goods in the next six months.

Sources: Kauppalehti, Association of Fashion Retailers in Finland, Statistics Finland