The goal of S Group is to more effectively utilise the strengths of the food and consumer goods trade in the hardware trade. SOK will discontinue SOK Hardware functions and join S Group's hardware functions to SOK Food and Consumer Goods. This will bring more synergy benefits and cost-efficiency to S Group's hardware functions.
"We are seeking new growth opportunities and making our operations more effective. For example, volumes will grow when we connect SOK Hardware's procurement to that of SOK Food and Consumer Goods. This is of significance in the increasingly international operating environment of the hardware trade. Unfortunately, the steps taken will also have an impact on SOK's staff", says Arttu Laine, Executive Vice President of SOK, S-Group Chain Operations, Procurement and Logistics.
In hardware sales, S Group will also more extensively focus on a multichannel approach that covers online and physical stores, in hardware's chains (Kodin Terra and S-Rauta) as well as in the chains of food and consumer goods' (Prisma and S-market).
One reason behind the change is that a transition is underway in traditional hardware store sales. In addition to hardware store chains and specialised stores, interior design, yard and gardening, and construction products are being sold to an increasing extent at supermarkets, in discount stores and online. Many Prisma stores already provide building and renovation products.
The negotiations covered all staff members of SOK Hardware, and some staff members of SOK Food and Consumer Goods. The original estimate was that a maximum of 30 people would be let go.
The negotiations did not cover the other operations of SOK and SOK Corporation, such as S-Verkkopalvelut Ltd or Inex Partners Ltd.
The negotiations will not affect the employees of the regional cooperatives, S Group hardware outlets, or the services provided for co-op members.