Finland is a prosperous Northern European country. It has a strategic location on the interface between the markets of Russia, the Baltic and Nordic countries. Indeed most of the transit trade from the EU to Russia already passes through Finland. The market is relatively small with 5.49 million inhabitants but highly urbanized; 68% live in towns or urban areas.
The Finnish retail market can be characterised as a stable market. Best known for its various shopping centres all over the country as well as the somewhat limited amount of high street locations. The Finnish retail market has seen plenty of newcomers enter the market and some major transactions completed in recent years.
|Unemployment rate (%)||8.7||9.0||8.8||8.2||7.8|
|Interest rates Short Term (%)||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2|
|Interest rates 10-year (%)||0.8||1.0||1.6||2.0||2.4|
NOTE: *annual % growth rate unless otherwise indicated. E estimate F forecast
Source: Oxford Economics Ltd. and Consensus Economics Inc
|Population||5.5 million (2014)|
|GDP||US$ 271.1 billion (2014)|
|Public sector balance||-3.2% of GDP (2014)|
|Public sector debt||59.3% of GDP (2014)|
|Current account balance||-1.9% of GDP (2014)|
|Parliament||A coalition of the Centre Party, The Finns and the National Coalition Party.|
|Prime Minister||Juha Sipilä|
|Election dates||April 2019 (Legislative) February 2018 (Presidential)|
|RETAIL SALES GROWTH: % CHANGE ON PREVIOUS YEAR|
Source: Oxford Economics Ltd.
|LARGEST CITIES (2015)|
|Helsinki Metropolitan Area (includes Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa)||1,100,000|
MAJOR DOMESTIC FOOD RETAILERS
S Group (e.g Prisma, S-Market, Alepa), Kesko (e.g. K-Citymarket, K-Supermarket, K-Market), Lähikauppa Oy (e.g. Siwa, Valintatalo)
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL FOOD RETAILERS
MAJOR DOMESTIC non-FOOD RETAILERS
Stockmann (including Lindex), Tokmanni, S-Group (e.g. Sokos), Kesko (e.g. Anttila, K-Rauta, Aleksi13, Marimekko, Halonen, Moda, Musti & Mirri, Seppälä
INTERNATIONAL RETAILERS in country
H&M, Bestseller, Zara, Mango, KappAhl, Varner Gruppen, Gina Tricot, New Yorker, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant,Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Odd Molly, Victoria’s Secret , Esprit, Ikea, Jysk, Gigantti, Bauhaus, Clas Ohlson, XXL
Food & Beverage Operators
International: McDonald’s, Subway, Hard Rock Cafe, Burger King, Starbuck’s coffee, Waynes Coffee, Espresso House, O’Learys, Vapiano, Pizza Hut
Domestic: Hesburger, Kotipizza, Robert’s Coffee, Café Picnic
|MONDAY - FRIDAY||SATURDAY||SUNDAY|
|09.00-21.00||09.00-18.00||12.00-18.00 stores over 400 sqm|
According to the Finnish Council for Shopping Centers, there are 87 shopping centres in Finland, with a total leasable area of approx. 1.84 million m². Overall, the rental levels have remained steady for the past few years in prime shopping centres; the average rent for a 200 m² store located in a prime shopping centre in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area varies between €30-€170/m²/month. Rents will most likely remain stable going forward as uncertainty in the economy provides challenges for retailers. Some shopping centres are offering lease agreements setting the rent relative to the revenue of the tenant.
Finland is not too well known for its high streets as the consumers tend to be keener on doing their shopping in shopping centres, especially in northern cities. The majority of high street shopping locations can be found in the largest cities. In Helsinki CBD, the streets such as Aleksanterinkatu, Pohjoisesplanadi, Keskuskatu, and Mikonkatu are the dominant high street locations with the largest variety of retailers. In Helsinki, certain shopping centres such as Forum, City-Center, and Kluuvi can be found around high street areas, providing further shopping opportunities for consumers. Due to the sparsity of high street locations in Finland, retail units are highly sought after.
Finland has several retail outlet areas located all over the country, typically just outside city centres, with just under 700 outlet stores in total. Traditionally, retail outlet areas in Finland consist of big box stores that are located in close proximity of one another. One of the most notable retail outlet areas in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is located in Tammisto, Vantaa, where several international and domestic retailers have their outlet stores. The retail park segment, however, consists mostly of furniture retailers and other home or household-related retailers, as well as sport equipment retailers.
According to recent figures, the e-commerce has witnessed rapid growth and has become a viable option for Finns, whether it is for retail, grocery or other products. The increasing interest towards e-shopping has forced offline retailers to contemplate developing their own e-shopping platforms in order to maintain customer satisfaction. Additionally, the increasing use of e-shopping has fostered more price-conscious shopping behavior in customers who now have the option between online and traditional retail.
Entering the Finnish market is possible either directly, via franchise or having a shop-in shop. The process of retail space acquisition normally takes 3-12 months in Finland from beginning to end. The duration of the process depends a lot on the location in question.
The government of Finland is business-friendly and the country has a developed infrastructure, skilled workforce and competitive operating costs. Red tape is minimal and Finland is one of the least corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International. Foreign companies can buy or rent properties in Finland as easily as local ones.
New Entrants to the Market
|Michael Kors||Victorias’s Secret||Thomas Sabo||Habitat|
|Le Creuset||Odd Molly||Nespresso||Quicksilver|
Top Shopping Centers
|TOP SHOPPING CENTERS BY SIZE|
|NAME||CITY||SIZE (GLA SQM)||YEAR OPENED|
|Mylly||Raisio (Turku)||83 000||2001|
|Iso Omena||Espoo||63 300||2001|
|KEY FEATURES OF LEASE|
|Lease Terms||In Finland lease terms are usually from 3 to 5 years. Lease agreements for anchor tenants can be from 10 to 15 years. Options to continue the agreement after the term are used commonly. Rental practices in the retail market vary significantly according to both type of retail unit and the preferences of the investors and tenants. Rental agreements are normally longer in retail than in the office market. Fixed terms are more commonly applied in the retail market, as location is a key factor in the retail trade, and tenants want to ensure this with agreements. In hypermarket and supermarket properties, investors are increasingly cash-flow driven, and agreements are typically relatively long-term contracts with net rent. In shopping centres, anchor tenants often have leases of five to ten and even 15 years, with renewal options sometimes applied in shorter leases. Other tenants have typically shorter leases.|
|Rental Payment||Rents are typically paid monthly. Due date is usually in advance of the beginning of the period. It can be negotiated by landlord and tenant, though. If a due date is not agreed in the agreement, it is the second day of the period. Deposit or bank guarantee are normally required and the value of deposit or bank guarantee is usually the value of 2 or 3 month rent. The use of turnover based leases is gradually increasing in shopping centres.|
|Rent Review||Indexation is common practice in Finland. . Rent is usually indexed to cost-of living or corresponding index.|
|Service Charges, Repairs and Insurance||A service charge is usually payable in multi-tenanted buildings and covers management fees, security, cleaning, landscaping, internal maintenance of common parts, external maintenance and insurance, servicing of elevators, water, heating, air conditioning, management fees and property taxes, sometimes even common marketing. The landlord is responsible for external /structural matters in shopping centres (charged back via service charge) or tenant (except in multi-let buildings). The tenant is responsible for internal matters. The landlord usually insures the main structure and external fabric but will charge this back to the tenant. Insurance for common parts is also paid by the landlord and charged back. The tenant usually pays for internal insurance directly.|
|Property Taxes and other costs||The local government authority (community) charges the property tax. The landlord pays property tax (FIN kiinteistövero) of around 1% of the value of the property, although this will vary depending on location and the use of the property. This cost is passed on to the tenant if service charge is invoiced, otherwise a landlord cost. VAT on rent is 24% . The rent is typically inflated as a compensation to the landlord, if the tenant is VAT exempt (insurance companies, banks, healthcare companies and charity funds).|
|Disposal of a Lease||Sub-letting less than half of the space is allowable without landlord’s permission if not denied in the agreement. Otherwise tenant has to get landlord’s permission to sub-leasing. Transferring of lease right isn’t possible without landlord’s permission. All tenant improvements must be approved by the landlord subject to the alteration covenant in the lease. Lease agreement ends to the term or in until further notice agreements it ends after notice.|
|Valuation Methods||There is no official "zoning" basis valuation in Finland. Valuation is usually done by basic market value based methods using comparable leases. Value of the lease/rent depends on location, size, shape, condition, size of windows etc.|
|Legislation||Act of leasing commercial premises was consolidated in 1995. Lease agreement and change of lease agreement must be in writing or otherwise it is seen to be done as until further notice agreement. A mandatory standard form of lease agreement does not exist but there are forms that are common in practice. Finnish legislation regulating rental agreements is among the most liberal in the world and is based on the idea of full freedom of agreement between two parties.|