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Shops Stretch Opening Hours under New Law

Many Finnish shops have taken advantage of new legislation allowing them to remain open longer than before. The law has removed all restrictions on opening hours for shops with less than 400 square metres of floor space. One Alepa store on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki is staying open 24 hours a day.

Lappu kaupan ovessa kertoo, että ostoksille pääsee ympäri vuorokauden
Image: Yle

HOK-Elanto has decided to try round-the-clock opening hours in one of its Alepa stores. Young people buying soft drinks and snacks are among the main late-night clientele. The manager of the shop, Mia Juselius, says that fruit and vegetables also sell late at night.

Trial Opening

Kimmo Nikula, manager of the Alepa and S-Market chain, emphasizes that the 24-hour opening of the Mannerheimintie Alepa is a trial, and that there are no plans to extend it to other shops very soon. According to Nikula, it is not yet possible to evaluate the profitability of late-night trading.

“We will follow the situation and in the coming weeks we will see how sensible this is,” Nikula says.

He emphasizes that a number of measures have been taken to secure the safety of employees who are on night shifts. The main idea is that nobody will be forced to work alone late at night; there will be at least two shop employees and a guard.

Currently there are about 300 shops in Finland which are staying open until 11:00 PM. The tendency toward 24-hour store opening is strong. The Kesko chain expects that the number of K-Markets staying open late into the night will increase to more than 20 this year.

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