Sunday retail and longer opening hours became possible following the introduction of a new law in December 2009, described by the Finnish media as “historic”. Sunday retail sales have increased continuously since then. The impact of the change in the sales of daily consumer goods is especially visible in the Helsinki region.
The relaxed opening hours were also a boost to the retail sector as a whole, enabling it to plan its business activities and develop logistics with a longer term perspective, according to Kauppalehti, one of the leading business newspapers in Finland. The change also brought new business opportunities to the retail sector and was accepted by the Service Union United PAM that represents employees in the private service sectors.
In 2011, the total value of daily consumer goods sales was EUR 15.3 billion. In February 2012 the value of retail trade in Finland was EUR 1.185 billion, which was 8.2% more than in February 2011.
The Finnish retail trade is highly concentrated in the hands of the S-Group which had a market share of 45.2% in 2011, and the K-Group whose market share was 35.3%. Suomen Lähikauppa’s market share was 7.8% and others made up 11.7% of the retail trade.