New Shopping Centre Kaari opens in Finland

Five new shopping centres are planned to open in 2014 as the number of Finnish consumers visiting shopping centres continues to rise.

The new Shopping Centre Kaari in the Kannelmäki district of Helsinki attracted more than 160,000 people during its opening weekend on 18-20 October. Kaari has been built by HOK-Elanto, which is part of the S-Group, Finland’s biggest retail sector operator. With a retail area of 46,500 square metres and a total area of 101,000 square metres, Kaari is Finland’s ninth largest shopping centre, and the fifth largest in the Greater Helsinki area.

Kaari is aiming for 6.5 million visitors annually. The new shopping centre includes a Prisma hypermarket, a restaurant village and about 80 specialist stores, including Clas Ohlson, H&M, Esprit and Lindex. Kaari also has a comprehensive range of daily services, including a medical centre, play area, car wash and pharmacy. There is parking for 1,700 cars and 600 bicycles as well as seven charging points for electric cars.

Finns like shopping centres

Shopping centres are very popular among Finnish consumers. Five new shopping centers are expected to open in 2014 and several existing shopping centers are expanding. According to the Finnish Council of Shopping Centres, the shopping centres’ sales in 2012 increased by 4.3%, reaching a total of EUR 5.5 billion. The number of visitors to the shopping centres also increased by 2.8% to a total of 335 million. There are about 4,000 stores located in Finnish shopping centers.

According to Kaj Grahn, Manager of Shopping Centre Kaari, the new shopping centre features solutions and innovations like 3D guide maps that have never been seen before in Finland. “Kaari is an interactive shopping centre. The numerous digital surfaces serve both as signs and advertising channels. The shopping centre also has an open WLAN network for customers’ use,” he says.

Sources: Markkinointi & Mainonta, HOK-Elanto, Finnish Council of Shopping Centres