RENEWAL CONTINUED IN 2019
In 2019, we reworked our strategy and clarified the company’s vision, mission and values. Our goal is to turn Stockmann into a marketplace that offers the best and most inspiring selection of fashion, beauty and home products in the retail sector. We focus strongly on providing excellent customer service. We are renewing our selection to better meet the needs of our customers and are extending the range of sustainable brands.
Lindex is investing in growth with a focus of growing both its current business as well as exploring new business opportunities. In 2019, Lindex joined as partner and investor in Closely, a new Swedish underwear brand for women, whose premium products will be launched this autumn. The partnership is part of Lindex’s work to create new growth opportunities based on the company’s strengths. Lindex continues to develop and strengthen its store network profitability and develop its e-commerce. The fashion company is growing digitally, both through its own channels and together with global online partners.
Last year we pushed forward with the Group-wide rejuvenation program, the results of which are reflected in renewed selection, service and lower cost levels. Both Stockmann and Lindex developed their digital services and used technology to strengthen multichannel retailing. In the summer, dozens of great Online Exclusive partner brands and new product areas which will complement our offering were added to the Stockmann online store. We also introduced more responsible alternatives to our selections in all categories, and significantly increased e.g. the amount of natural cosmetics in our range.
In October, we launched the MyStockmann loyal customer programme, which we have built with our partners based on customer wishes. We also introduced charity and service benefits to the programme. We will continue to develop the programme, and we aim to provide our loyal customers with continuously updated functions and benefits.
The revitalisation of Stockmann’s business operations and returning them to profit will furthermore require significant renewals and reduction of costs. In 2019, we made a number of major and difficult decisions regarding our organisation and our businesses. The sale of the Nevsky Centre shopping centre and and reducing the company’s gearing were very important steps for the Stockmann’s future. We simplified our organisational structure, and during the summer, the company conducted codetermination negotiations, which resulted in a reduction of employees. The Board of Directors has decided to investigate strategic alternatives for Lindex’s ownership. Work in this regard will continue on schedule.
Revenue in 2019 was EUR 960 million. A positive operating result was achieved through the ongoing savings and rejuvenation programme as well as due to good performance by both Lindex and Stockmann. A major part of the savings are already clearly visible in this year’s result. The rejuvenation programme continues and our goal is to return our department store operations to a sustainable level by 2021, and strongly develop Lindex in accordance with the guidelines of the approved strategy.
I would like to thank Stockmann’s and Lindex employees for their commitment to renewal of business and operating models and to serving our customers in the best possible way. I would like to thank our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders for their cooperation and trust. I started as CEO in August and will continue the purposeful work together with our employees and partners. A number of projects are ongoing to achieve a change in direction. I started as CEO in August and will continue the purposeful work together with our employees and partners to achieve a complete change in direction for Stockmann. This will allow us to achieve our goals and give our customers a feeling that lasts every day.
Chief Executive Officer