British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has signed a franchise partnership with the leading Finnish retailer S Group to operate M&S stores and a customer website in Finland. According to S Group, it will open seven M&S stores by 2016 as well as launching a fully localised M&S online store in Spring 2015 serving customers across Finland.
The first M&S store will open in early October 2014 within the Sokos department store in Helsinki, shortly followed by two stores located in a Sokos department store in Jyväskylä and in the Goodman shopping centre in Hämeenlinna. In 2015, M&S stores will open in Tampere, Lappeenranta, Lahti and Pori. The new ‘store in store' concept will feature Marks & Spencer's signature store design with its own entrance, inspiring windows and visual merchandise displays, changing rooms and till points.
Unrivalled local knowledge
“With a leading presence at key shopping locations across Finland and unrivalled local knowledge, S Group is the ideal partner for us to open our new website and stores across the country,” says Francois Smeyers, Regional Director for Europe at Marks & Spencer.
The S Group consists of 22 regional cooperatives operating in the markets for groceries, consumer goods, service station and fuel, hotel and restaurant services, agricultural supplies and car sales. Marks & Spencer has over 790 stores in Britain and 450 stores overseas.
Finland has Europe’s – if not the world’s – most supermarket-driven retail sector, according to Invest in Finland. Now local consumers and retailers want to bring about a change. For international retailers, this is a great opportunity to introduce new retail approaches to a receptive consumer base.