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Finavia brings traveller retail expert WHSmith to Finland

WHSmith, best known for books, newspapers and travel convenience, will open its first shops in Finland at Helsinki Airport in late 2016. Helsinki Airport has become an interesting business place and magnet for global companies to enter Finland.

Founded in the UK in the late 1700s, WHSmith is now opening a total of four shops at Helsinki Airport. The shops of the historic retail group will open for business in terminal 1 in late 2016 and in terminal 2 in early 2017.

"It is a pleasure to have yet another international operator arrive in Finland. Large global companies are now more interested in Helsinki Airport as a place of business than ever before. This demand and interest shows that we have developed the airport and its commercial services in the right direction for efficiency and profitability," says Finavia's Elena Stenholm, Vice President of Commercial Services at Helsinki Airport.

This three-year agreement, the result of tendering, is worth 25 million euros.

The WHSmith shops at Helsinki Airport will be operated by SSP Finland, a long-time partner of Finavia. Finavia has been in close collaboration with both WHSmith and SSP Finland to integrate the look of the new shops with Helsinki Airport and provide a selection to match the needs of customers.

"WHSmith has a long history of international trade and experience in operating at travel hubs. This expertise, combined with our local know-how, will ensure that the needs of both domestic and international customers will be met. We will monitor the sales of all our shops and constantly adjust the selection based on demand," says Stenholm.

According to Marko Alander, general manager of SSP Finland, WHSmith is the perfect retail brand for Helsinki Airport that will significantly improve the convenience offer available to passengers.

"Designed especially for the needs of Helsinki Airport passengers, shops operated by us provide a combination of high-quality international and local products as well as attractive offers, guaranteeing an excellent customer experience for passengers," Alander says.

WHSmith is a leading retail group in the United Kingdom with operations in 25 countries. Over half of the company's over 1,300 shops are located in travel environments, such as airports and train stations.

Helsinki Airport attracts global players
While developing and extending Helsinki Airport with almost one billion euro, Finavia has also completely revamped the commercial service selection of Helsinki Airport. Within the past few years a number of notable global companies have arrived at the airport, finding it an attractive place for doing business and supporting the growth of Helsinki Airport as the leading transfer airport between Europe and Asia.

The investments of international operators in Finavia airports are in the tens of millions, and they have created hundreds of new jobs at Helsinki Airport.

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