Norway’s XXL to make strong entry to Finland’s sports retail market

Recession and trends are boosting sales in Finland’ sports retail sector.

Norwegian sports retail chain XXL is opening four large stores in Finland this year. Each one has a surface area of about four thousand square metres which is more than double the size of most existing sports stores in Finland. XXL is aiming to open its first store by Easter in the Tammisto retail area in Vantaa, southern Finland. A store in the Helsinki city centre will open before the Christmas season, according to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The economic recession has actually increased sales in Finland’s sports retail sector. A survey by the association of Finland’s sports and leisure wholesalers reveals that almost 80% of its member companies are expecting to increase their turnover this year. Sales by sports goods wholesalers will grow by a few percent this year, says the association’s director Ilari Räisänen.

Finns love sports products

International sports retailers have been attracted to the Finnish market because fitness activities are very trendy in Finland and Finns exercise significantly more than the average EU citizens. Finnish consumers also buy clothes from the sports stores for everyday use.

The Swedish sports retailer Stadium has expanded rapidly in Finland after entering the market in 2001. Last year Stadium opened five new stores and currently has a total of 24 stores in Finland. Stadium’s turnover increased by 18.7% last year and it will open one new store later this year.

The market leader in the sports retail sector is Intersport, owned by the Finnish company Kesko, with 62 stores around the country. Intersport’s sales remained at the same level in 2013 as in the previous year.

Source: Helsingin Sanomat