The company dates back to 1910. The business was originally conceived by several major Finnish publishing houses as a newsagent for railway stations ("Rautakirja" was itself shortened from "Rautatiekirjakauppa" which translates to "railway bookshop"). It was later extended to other venues and products. The name R-Kioski was adopted in 1958.
On 5 March 2012, it was announced that the Reitan Group bought R-Kioski from Sanoma for roughly 1 billion Norwegian krone. The group had been working on the purchase for a decade, but previous negotiations had stranded as R-Kioski had demanded a merger where they owned 51 percent. The purchase brought the Reitan Group to 2,500 kiosk outlets, making it the second-largest kiosk group in Europe.