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Finnish Retail Icon

Kesko Corporation is a retail conglomerate established in 1940 and based in Helsinki, Finland. The company operates in a variety of sectors within the retail industry such as groceries & consumer goods, building materials, and automotive services. Over the decades the company has expanded its reach, not just within Finland but also by making inroads into several neighboring markets. Kesko is a diversified company, and its operations encompass both wholesale and retail activities.


Kesko was established in 1940 in Helsinki as a cooperative endeavor by a consortium of independent retailers. The cooperative model was adopted to bolster buying power and ensure competitive retail prices, benefiting both members and consumers. As the years passed, Kesko's commitment to this collective approach not only solidified its place in the Finnish retail sector but also facilitated its expansion into diverse product and service categories. While Kesko is a company firmly rooted in Finland both businesswise and culturally, the company now has a presence in several countries across northern Europe.

The Grocery Stores

The grocery business is a key segment of Kesko's diversified portfolio, and the company has a significant share of the market in Finland. Operating under various banners such as K-Citymarket, K-Supermarket, and K-Market, Kesko has stores in everything from metropolitan hubs as well as in more rural areas. The grocery division thrives on a distinctive model that combines the power of centralized buying and supply chain management with the flexibility and local insight of independent K-retailers. These retailers, while benefiting from the collective strength of the Kesko group, maintain autonomy over their outlets, tailoring offerings to the specific demand and preferences of their local clientele.

Other Aspects of the Business

As previously mentioned, Kesko operates other retail segments apart from just their grocery stores. The company has a strong foothold in the building, home improvement, and technical trade sectors, offering tools, machinery, construction materials, and even B2B services. Brands like K-Rauta cater to both individual consumers and professional builders alike and can be compared to the offerings of international companies such as Home Depot and Lowes. Kesko’s car trade division deals with the import, retail, and after-sales services of various automobile brands, including names such as Volkswagen and Audi, as well as several other well-known automotive brands. The company has an array of car dealerships, and the segment offers new and used cars, as well as associated services.