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Government report examines the future of Finland’s retail sector

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 10.11.2022 14.28 | Published in English on 11.11.2022 at 10.38
Press release

On 10 November 2022, the Government submitted to Parliament its Report on the future of the retail sector. The report provides information on the sector and development proposals for the next ten years. The aim is for the Finnish retail trade sector to succeed nationally and internationally in the future too.

The retail trade sector is changing globally. Digitalisation, changes in consumer behaviour and global markets are the main drivers of the sector’s renewal. Finnish retail companies are part of a global ecosystem, where the traditional business models are currently undergoing a transformation. Global online shopping, e-commerce platforms and an increasing number of retail sales channels are key signs of this change. 

“Against the backdrop of the ongoing development, the Finnish retail sector must renew itself to keep pace with the global competition. This is absolutely necessary if it wants to succeed in the competition both nationally and internationally,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. 

Proposals for national development work, resourcing and international advocacy 

The report focuses on consumer sales (products and services), including the chain from wholesalers to the sale of fast-moving consumer goods. The report explores: 1) consumer behaviour, 2) employment, education and skills, 3) regional development and security of supply, 4) digitalisation, 5) climate change and corporate responsibility, and 6) functioning markets and promotion of entrepreneurship. 

The report contains 38 development proposals, which are divided into three priority areas. The first area focuses on national development work that responds to structural changes and a transformation of the operating environment by creating new and by developing existing national systems, operating models and regulations to promote the retail sector’s renewal and growth potential. Priority area 2 focuses on implementing the structural changes of the retail sector at the national level by ensuring sufficient resources for the renewal, growth and internationalisation. Finally, the third area emphasises international advocacy work both in and outside the EU.

The report contains a vision and scenarios for the retail sector in 2032. The vision emphasises the efforts to improve the sector’s ecosystem, an operating environment that supports the sector’s reform, the sector’s attraction and retention, and corporate responsibility. The three scenarios are: 1) internationally competitive retail trade that has undergone an ecosystem reform, 2) retail trade that has suffered a competitive disadvantage, and 3) retail trade that has lost its competitiveness.

The Government report on the future of the retail sector was prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. A parliamentary monitoring group, a steering group and a working group consisting of public officials and experts have supported the preparatory work. A wide range of stakeholders were consulted and two open written consultation rounds were organised during the preparations.

Sonja Hällfors, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 04 7380
Ilona Lundström, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 04 7186
Natalia Härkin, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 04 7168