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Starting today, some supermarkets open until 11 pm

New laws on the books in the New Year include the liberalisation of store opening hours regulations. A handful stores already began testing out extended hours earlier in the year but Monday marks the first day most supermarkets will try staying open late.

Kaupan aukioloaikoja K-extra -ruokakaupan ikkunassa Helsingissä.
Starting January 11, 2016 supermarkets roll out extended opening hours, due to loosened regulations which came into force at the beginning of the year. Image: Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva

Finnish laws on the deregulation of opening hours of shops and supermarkets came into effect at the start of the year, but Monday marks the first day most shopkeepers will try out the new, extended opening hours.

In theory shops can stay open 24 hours a day, and some shops will try doing just that.

For the most part however, stores will be open an hour or two later than the previous 9 pm weekday closing time which was the latest allowed for larger stores until the turn of the year.

The S-Group, which owns the S-Market and Prisma shopping chains, upon hearing of the law change last year, quickly announced that it would keep its stores open longer.

Most S-Group stores will be open until 11 pm, particularly in the greater Helsinki region.

The Kesko Corporation, which owns the K-Market chain, is following suit. For example the Jumbo Citymarket in Vantaa will remain open until 11 pm on weekdays.

Late hours on Saturdays

The biggest change comes on the weekends. Previously stores had to shut their doors by 6 pm on Saturdays, but now most stores of both Kesko and S-Group will try staying open until 9 pm on Saturdays.

Both chains announced that they may adjust their opening times again in the future, depending on customer response.

The third major player on the Finnish supermarket scene, Lidl, has not yet announced new opening hour plans.

A Lidl representative said that the company would likely experiment with the loosened regulations.

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