The smaller shops selling specialised goods are usually open 9:00-17:00 on weekdays and 9:00-13:00/16:00 on Saturdays. Hypermarkerts, department stores and shopping centres keep their doors open Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00/22:00, 9:00-18:00 on Saturdays and often 12:00-18:00 on Sundays. There are also a couple of 24-hour-shops in most cities. Many petrol stations also sell groceries and are open 24/7. Most newsagents (kioski) are open every day 9:00-22:00.
Grocery stores usually advertise weekly or daily in the local newspapers or print separate newspaper editions delivered to your mailbox. This allows you to compare food prices at different stores. Please note that the open market place (tori) is not necessarily the cheapest place to buy food in Finland, like it is in some other countries. Also check out some of the private product labels in stores (e.g. Pirkka, Rainbow, Extra, Euroshopper). They are usually cheaper than the well-known brand names.
Loyalty programmes are extremely popular in Finland. There are three major retail groups in Finland, all of which offer their own bonus card:
- The Kesko retail group offers the PLUSSA card (accepted in K-markets, CityMarket, Anttila, Intersport etc). There is a charge for the card but the cardholders get special offers at Kesko's retail group stores and earn vouchers when certain amount of money is spent.
- S-Group Bonus Card (S-Etukortti) is offered by the SOK retail group (The Finnish Co-operative Society). The S-bonus card is accepted in Sokos department stores, Prismas, S-Markets etc. To get a card, you need to join the local co-operative of the area in which you live. Fill in a form at the information desk in any S-Market, Sokos or Prisma hypermarket. There is a fee charged to join the co-op but you can pay part of it by your monthly earned bonuses.
Ethnic Grocery Shops
Big supermarkets such as Prisma and City Market offer a variety of spices and for example halal meat. However, if you are looking for something specific, there are a few ethnic grocery shops available.
Family Needs, Koskikatu 13 C
Hallin Herkku ja Kala Oy, Market Hall, Koskikatu 2
Marrakesh shop, Pyörönkaari 26
Suker Shop, Alakatu 3
Istanbul Market. Pyörönkaari 11