While Finland is sometimes seen as geographically remote, its business environment is recognised as one of the best in the world. The country's proximity to Russia and its popularity with Russian tourists is also an undisputed advantage. “There could be space for new players in luxury products, particularly as tourism from Russia to Finland has been growing strongly,” says Lankinen. It's no coincidence that Russian is commonly heard spoken at the Louis Vuitton store in central Helsinki, which has successfully established itself in Finland over the past few years.
Lidl challenges consumer goods retail duopoly
Perhaps the most difficult sector to penetrate in Finland is the market for daily consumer goods, which is dominated by the Finnish S-Group and K-Group. However, the German company Lidl has managed to gain some market share since arriving in Finland in 2002.
“We have established ourselves quickly through systematic work and by believing in our concept. We currently have 140 stores here,” says Lauri Sipponen, Lidl's managing director in Finland. Lidl has invested more than half a billion euros in land, property, machinery and equipment in Finland. “We are very satisfied with both our financial and operational development,” says Sipponen.