Finnish consumers have quickly proved the popularity of late night and Sunday shopping. After introducing longer opening hours at the beginning of the year, the turnover of the Finnish HOK-Elanto’s Alepa chain of grocery stores increased by 8.6% in the period January-June 2010, compared to the year before. Alepa’s turnover is now at the same level on Saturdays and Sundays as during the weekdays.
Sales during the summer months have been especially brisk, as many Finnish consumers are still on the move during the long summer evenings when it does not get dark. HOK-Elanto currently has one 24h Alepa store in Helsinki, with a second store opening soon in Espoo. The company has been recruiting more staff to meet the growing demand.
Alepa is also currently piloting its online Kauppakassi (Shopping bag) service, where customers make their order on the Internet and get the products delivered to their homes for a small charge. Longer opening hours and home deliveries from supermarkets are still a relatively new phenomenon in the Finnish retail sector.