photo © Visit Finland / Ari-Pekka Darth
There are three main Department Stores in Finland that have a national presence: Anttila, Sokos, and Stockmann. Of these, Stockmann is probably the best known, in no small part thanks to its landmark store in central Helsinki which is the largest in all of the Nordic countries.
Stockmann has a total of seven department stores operating in Finland; the culturally significant building designed by Sigurd Frosterus and built in 1930 in Helsinki City Centre, and others in Tampere, Tapiola Garden City (in Espoo), Turku, and Oulu. The other two stores it operates are located within the shopping mall complexes of Jumbo in Vantaa, and Itäkeskus in an eastern suburb of Helsinki. Not quite as glamorous are the Sokos and Anttila chains, but they are more widely spread across the country; Sokos have 20 branches in 19 cities or towns, and Antilla have 32 branches in 26 different towns and cities.
There is one other department store in Finland, one that has become something of a cultural anomaly. Veljekset Keskinen is second biggest department store in the country, but what makes this one unique is its remote location and its incredible popularity. Every year more than 5 million customers visit from Finland and from parts of Russia. Located in the village of Tuuri, around 50km east of Seinäjoki, VK is easily identified by the enormous golden horseshoe in the parking lot, a monument voted 3rd ugliest in the world, but chosen as the word ‘Tuuri’ means luck in Finnish. It is also remarkable in that it also features a large caravan park and hosts countless events annually, including a rock and pop festival.