|Arto Hiltunen (Chairman of the board)|
|Products||Groceries, hardware, consumer durables, services.|
|Revenue||€10.544 billion (2007, including subsidiaries)
€7.813 billion (2007, excluding subsidiaries)
|Profit||€58 million (2007, excluding subsidiaries)|
Number of employees
The S Group (Finnish: S-ryhmä, Swedish: S-gruppen) is a Finnish retailing cooperative organisation with its head office in Helsinki. Founded in 1904, it consists of 22 regional cooperatives operating all around Finland in the markets for groceries, consumer durables, service station, hotel and restaurant services, agricultural supplies, and car sales. The full formal name of the nationwide cooperative organisation is Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (SOK).
The organisation's loyalty card is called S-Etukortti. It is engaged in close competition with Kesko, with which it shares an oligopolistic position in many of the markets it operates in. S Group's biggest competitor is Kesko. People with socialist leanings are happy to shop with S Group as it is a cooperative and the profits are distributed to its members. In Helsinki, the local organisation called HOK merged with Leftist grocery store chain Elanto to form HOK-Elanto.
A client can invest a small sum on the local co-operative and become a client-owner. (The exact sum is decided by the local co-operative board and varies significantly depending on local conditions.) A client-owner gets a membership card, S-Etukortti, which functions as a debit or credit card and gives access to special client-owner bargains. For the sums spent in S Group stores, Bonus is paid back to the client into the account at S-Bank. The Bonus percentage varies from 1% to 5% depending on the sum spent. S-Bank pays an interest that is competitive with interests paid by general banks into savings accounts. S-Etukortti is not a regular "loyalty card" as it represents actual monetary investment and the return is formally profit, not discount.
35 members of parliament in 2012 were representatives in the S Group or Tradeka (Siwa) corporate governance.
The S Group consists of 22 regional co-operative enterprises and 13 local co-operative enterprises. In total, these had 1.7 million individual members in 2007, a number that has grown from 1.2 million in 2003. The revenue from members was 6.8 billion and 263 million of Bonus was paid.
The S Group operates four distinct chains of supermarkets:
- Sale – a chain of small grocery stores, mainly located in the countryside and small towns, with an emphasis on service rather than selection. Sale shops often only provide everyday groceries. There are about 170 Sale shops in Finland.
- Alepa – this is the equivalent for Sale in the Greater Helsinki region – there are about 70 Alepa shops in the suburbs of Helsinki and the neighbouring cities.
- S-market – larger supermarkets with a better selection of goods for sale, and often providing additional services. This is the largest of the S Group's supermarket chains, with nearly 400 shops around Finland.
- Prisma – a hypermarket chain with about 50 shops around Finland and the Baltic states, in major cities.
The largest sales revenues are from S-markets (49%) and from Prismas 39%.
The S Group's supermarkets retail the general private brand Rainbow, Kotimaista for products made in Finland and the no-frills X-tra range in partnership with Coop Trading a Nordic purchasing organisation for Co-operatives. Non-food products are marketed under the House name.
The S Group has grown significantly in Finland in recent years, growing both organically and by acquisition.
The S Group also operates the Sokos chain of department stores, ABC service stations, the hotel chain Sokos Hotels, several brands of restaurants such as Rosso, Sevilla and Amarillo, the Agrimarket chain, which sells agricultural and DIY supplies, and a number of car dealerships for Peugeot.
The S Group operates Finland's first so called supermarket bank, the S-Bank (S-Pankki Oy)
- S-ryhmä ja SOK-yhtymä 2007 - Kansi
- "Contact information." S Group. Retrieved on 28 September 2012. "Fleminginkatu 34"
- "S-puolue" ja "Siwa-puolue" aktiivisina Arkadianmäellä yle 26.11.2012
Media related to S-ryhmä at Wikimedia Commons