Even though the Finnish consumer usually carries out their online shopping in online shops that are available in Finnish, country borders are not considered an obstacle. More than 40% of transactions by Finnish online consumers go to foreign online shops. Taxation policy can also be used to influence the competitive prerequisites of Finnish commerce.
After several years of negative growth, commerce is now seeing a gentle upturn, which is expected to continue moderately over the next few years. However, the development of commerce and consumer services is hampered by the large double tax wedge, which considerably increases the price of services and erodes purchasing power. To ensure continued positive development in the sector, efforts to reduce the tax wedge must continue in the latter part of the present Government’s term of office.
Finns seem to have loosened their purse strings somewhat this Christmas, although consumers remain cautious. Most people do not purchase their Christmas gifts until December, but young people in particular also take advantage of Black Friday campaigns at stores. Changes in Christmas commerce are often also a predictor of retail trade in the coming year.
The development of various new methods of payment is one of the biggest global trends affecting commerce. Young consumers, in particular, are interested in contactless and mobile payment and the use of payment service companies. Especially small stores, however, do not possess the skills and resources needed to meet these expectations. This is why Finnish commerce sector companies should be supported, so that they will not get trampled by foreign competitors in development trends.
The Finnish Commerce Federation enhances influencing in the EU. Janne Koivisto, LL.M., B. Eng., 40, was appointed as adviser in charge of the Federation's EU matters. He will begin in this position on January 1, 2017.
On 31 October 2016, Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment, and Juhani Pekkala, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation signed a Green Deal on actions to restrict the use of plastic carrier bags. This is the first time when an EU directive is implemented by a voluntary agreement instead of a legal instrument.
According to a recent survey, families with children and people living in big cities feel that the deregulation of store opening hours has made it easier to arrange their everyday life. Businesses operating in trade, on the other hand, feel that deregulation has increased competition. The law is now equal to all. The freedom to decide its own opening hours seems to affect the satisfaction of companies with the new situation.