Alko plans to change opening hours in dozens of stores

After studying shopping habits of its customers in different parts of the country, Alko will open some stores an hour later while closing other stores an hour earlier.

File picture showing different Alko logos / Credit: Alko

State-owned alcohol retailer Alko says it’s planning to change the opening hours in dozens of its stores from the beginning of the new year.

Back in March 2018 the chain extended the opening hours of all its stores as new liberalisation laws came into force. Since then Alko has been monitoring customer patterns to find out which are the most popular times for people to buy booze.

Some of the findings: just 4% of all Alko customers do their alcohol shopping in the hour before the stores close; while in the Helsinki metropolitan region customer mostly buy alcohol in the afternoon and evenings with 70% of sales happening after 14:00.

As a result of Alko’s research it will modify the opening hours in 32 stores so that they’ll either open an hour later, or close an hour earlier – to focus customer service efforts on those times when customers actually visit the shops.

“Customer behavior is different across Finland. The last opening hours of small towns are quiet, while in cities the emphasis is on evening, and the morning starts more slowly” explains Kari Pennanen, Alko’s Business Director.

“We want to provide our expert and responsible customer service at times when customers are on the move” he adds.

Alko operates more than 300 stores across Finland, and will update local opening times including any changes, on its website.