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Kesko Corporation
Native name
Finnish: Kesko Oyj
Swedish: Kesko Abp
Company typeJulkinen osakeyhtiö
Nasdaq HelsinkiKESKOB
Founded1940; 84 years ago (1940)
Key people
Jorma Rauhala (President and CEO), Esa Kiiskinen (Chairman)
ServicesSupermarkets and hypermarkets, hardware retail, auto sales, department stores, consumer durables
  • Increase €10.72 billion (2019)
  • €10.38 billion (2018)
  • €10.68 billion (2017)
  • €10.18 billion (2016)
  • €8.679 billion (2015)
  • Decrease €147 million (2016)
  • €195 million (2015)
  • Decrease €99 million (2016)
  • €102 million (2015)
Total assets
  • Increase €4.408 billion (2016)
  • €4.139 billion (2015)
Total equity
  • Decrease €2.029 billion (2016)
  • €2.163 billion (2015)
Number of employees
22,476 (average, 2016)
Footnotes / references
Kesko headquarters in Kalasatama, Helsinki, Finland
Former Kesko headquarters in Katajanokka, Helsinki, Finland

Kesko Corporation (Finnish: Kesko Oyj, Swedish: Kesko Abp) is a Finnish retailing conglomerate with its head office in Kalasatama, Helsinki.[3] It is engaged in the grocery trade, building and technical trade, and car trade. It also has operations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.


Kesko was formed when four regional wholesaling companies that had been founded by retailers were merged in October 1940.[4]

The new Kesko company started operating at the beginning of 1941. The need to purchase goods for the shareholder-retailers and to support their business operations and start cooperation among them resulted in the forming of the K-retailer group.

By the end of the 1940s, Kesko's sales amounted to about 15 billion old Finnish markkas (equivalent to EUR 580 million in 2010), which was about 12% of the overall sales of the central companies operating in the Finnish trading sector.


Grocery trade[edit]

K-Market Lohjanportti in Muijala, Lohja, Finland

Kesko's grocery trade division is a key operator in the Finnish grocery trade. The division's main functions include the centralised purchasing of products, selection management, logistics, and the development of chain concepts and the store network.

The division's grocery store chains are K-Market, K-Supermarket and K-Citymarket. In 2021, the chains comprised 1,200 grocery stores, run by some 1,000 independent K-retailers. Over 500 of the stores also offered online grocery sales services.[5] Approximately 50% of Finns live less than a kilometre away from a K-food store.

K-Citymarket store of the Viiri shopping centre in Klaukkala, Finland

Formerly Kesko called these four size-grades of their shops K (small), KK (middle-sized), KKK (large), and KKKK (largest),[6] and the chain names were K Extra, K Lähikauppa (= "local shop"), KK Market, KKK Supermarket and KKKK Citymarket; but this naming system has been changed.

Kesko's grocery private brands include Pirkka, Pirkka Parhaat and K-menu.

The main competitors are Prisma, S-market and Alepa/Sale of S Group, M chain stores, and Lidl.

Kesko company Kespro is the leading wholesaler in the Finnish HoReCa business.

Kesko also has small convenience stores, cafes and restaurants which operate at staffed service stations of Neste oil corporation. These service station facilities are branded as Neste K. The convenience store is virtually always found in Neste K station, while whether the station has a cafe or restaurant depends on the size and location of the station. Cafes are branded as Koon Kahvila and restaurants as Koon Keittiö.

K-citymarket's home and speciality goods trade is part of the grocery trade division.

Building and technical trade[edit]

Kesko's building and technical trade division operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Its chains are Onninen, which serves technical professionals, and K-Rauta, Byggmakker and K-Bygg, which serve both professional builders and consumers.

The division's main functions include the centralised development of chain selections, centralised purchasing and logistics, and the development of chain concepts and the store network.

K-Rauta and Intersport stores in Finland are operated by retailer entrepreneurs. The international business model combines the category management, purchasing, logistics, information system control and network improvements of the company's chains which operate in different countries.

Car trade[edit]

The car trade segment consists of K-Auto (formerly operated as VV-Auto).

K-Auto represents the leading brands in their market area and are responsible for the sales and after-sales services of these brands either through their own or dealer network. The dealer network is complemented by a network of contract service centres.

The division also comprises leisure trade and the chains Intersport and Budget Sport.

Market share and competitors[edit]

In 2014, Kesko's market share in food trade in Finland was 33.1% (Nielsen). At that point, Kesko's competitors in food trade in 2014 were S Group (45.7%), Lidl (7.6%), Suomen Lähikauppa (6.8%), and M chain stores (Nielsen). Kesko later acquired Suomen Lähikauppa in 2016 and the deal increased Kesko's share of the market to about estimated 40%.[7]

In 2019 Nielsen report, Kesko's market share in grocery trade was estimated to be 36.5%.[8]

Acquisition of Suomen Lähikauppa[edit]

Old Kesko village store (Sepon kauppa) in Yttilä, Satakunta
A Siwa store seen in 2016

In April 2016 Kesko completed the acquisition of a competitor Suomen Lähikauppa's stores. In the deal, Kesko acquired all the Valintatalo and Siwa stores. However the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the acquisition with a condition that Kesko must sell at least 60 of the stores to competitors. All the Siwas and Valintatalos have been rebranded as K-Market stores as of 2017.[9] The total number of stores owned by Suomen Lähikauppa before the acquisition was 643 and it employed 4100 employees.[10] In the same acquisition Kesko also was initially obligated to keep using Tuko Logistics Cooperative as the main supplier for the bought stores for 18 months, but FCCA later revoked this decision on appeal.[11]

Notable changes in company structure[edit]

Retail chain closures[edit]

Sales of retail chains[edit]


  1. ^ "Avainluvut". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ "KESKOA, Kesko Oyj A, (FI0009007900) - Nasdaq". www.nasdaqomxnordic.com. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Contacts/Kesko Corporation." Kesko. Retrieved on 11 July 2021. "Työpajankatu 12"
  4. ^ Iain (1 November 2006). "Kesko". FoodChain Magazine. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  5. ^ a b Kesko Annual Report 2021 kesko.fi
  6. ^ "Finland for Thought » Which Finnish grocery store should I choose? | Politics, current events, culture - in Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Päivittäistavarakauppa ry. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Päivittäistavarakaupan myynti ja markkinaosuudet 2019" (in Finnish). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Kesko has completed the acquisition of Suomen Lähikauppa - Siwa and Valintatalo stores to be converted into K-markets". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Kesko ostaa Suomen Lähikaupan - Siwat ja Valintatalot siirtyvät suomalaisomistukseen - Talouselämä". Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  11. ^ "FCCA removes Tuko-related conditions from Kesko Food and Suomen Lähikauppa merger decision". Kilpailu- ja kuluttajavirasto. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  12. ^ Musta Pörssi to wind up operations Kesko website. Retrieved on 6 June 2019
  13. ^ "Kesko keskittyy vapaa-ajan kaupassa urheilukauppaan – The Athlete's Foot, Kookenkä ja Kenkäexpertti -liiketoiminnat lopetetaan vuoden 2021 aikana". www.kesko.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  14. ^ a b Kesko myy Anttilat saksalaisille Yle. Retrieved on 23 September 2021
  15. ^ Kesko has completed the divestment of Indoor Group Oy responsible for Asko and Sotka Kesko website. Retrieved on 6 June 2019
  16. ^ "Danish Agro Group assumes ownership of Konekesko's Baltic subsidiaries". www.kesko.fi. Retrieved 3 October 2022.

External links[edit]