Trading from 3,000 square metres, the first Marks & Spencer store will be located within the Sokos department store in Helsinki and will open to customers in early October 2014. This will be shortly followed by the opening of two 1,600 square metre stores located in Sokos department store in Jyvaskyla and in Goodman shopping centre in Hameenlinna later that month. 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.
During spring 2015, S Group will open three further Marks & Spencer stores in Tampere, Lappeenranta and Lahti. The seventh Marks & Spencer will be opened in Pori during Autumn 2015. In addition, S Group will launch a Marks & Spencer online store in Spring 2015 – the fully localised website will be in Finnish, trading in Euros and serving customers across Finland.
The new partnership is part of Marks & Spencer's ‘clicks and bricks' strategy for Finland across e-commerce and stores and is in line with its plans to become a leading international, multi-channel retailer by 2015. To do this, Marks & Spencer's international strategy is focused on working closely with leading franchise partners like S Group to build its presence in key shopping locations abroad, as well as its growing its reach online. For S Group, the partnership is a part of the company's aim to strengthen its general merchandise trade to meet the changing needs of its customers. S Group plans to do this by developing both its own chain concepts as well as forming partnerships with strong international brands such as Marks & Spencer.
The new stores will offer customers in Finland access to Marks & Spencer's extensive range of exceptional quality, stylish fashions across womenswear, menswear and lingerie – as well as accessories, footwear and sleepwear.
Francois Smeyers, Regional Director for Europe at Marks & Spencer, said: "Growing our business with leading franchise partners like S Group is an important part of our international, multi-channel growth strategy. 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. Marks & Spencer is a brand that's synonymous with British quality, style and value and we're very excited to be returning to Finland with the best of our clothing products later this year."
Jorma Vehviläinen, Executive Vice President at SOK, said: "Cooperation with Marks & Spencer will strengthen the clothing selection of S Group and be welcomed by our cooperative members. Marks & Spencer has a strong heritage for offering exceptional quality and we are confident that its clothing and food products will be well-received by our customers."
For further information, please contact:
Emma Johnson M&S International Corporate PR Manager +44 (0) 208 718 1980 Jorma Vehviläinen Executive Vice President, SOK +358 (0)10 76 80608