2021 WAS THE YEAR OF A STRONG TURNAROUND
We continued the determined implementation of our strategy in 2021. We renewed our department stores and further developed our online store, distribution channels, selection and services in line with our customers’ wishes. The coronavirus pandemic caused challenges in international logistics and significantly reduced customer flows during 2021. Restrictions in our countries of operation affected the operations and opening hours of department stores and fashion stores. However, visits to department stores and fashion stores picked up from 2020, and online shopping also continued to grow strongly in 2021.
Lindex continued to develop its store network and international distribution channels and introduced a customer loyalty application to supplement the digital customer experience in its countries of operation. Lindex renewed its collections and expanded its selection and size ranges.
To implement the customer-centric strategy of the Stockmann division, we started an extensive operating model reform, through which our organisation will be centred more closely around our core process – that is, the customer path. The purpose of the reform is to improve customer service and streamline processes. This work will continue next year. In 2021, Stockmann continued to renew its department stores and online store and further developed its selection by adding 50 new brands.
We systematically implemented the corporate restructuring plan approved on 9 February 2021, and its key measures have been promoted at a rapid rate. Stockmann combined its series of shares and carried out debt and share conversions in May–July. In December 2021, we sold our department store properties in Tallinn and Riga and entered into long-term leaseback agreements with the new owner. The process to sell our department store property in the centre of Helsinki is progressing as planned.
Our strategy has proved to be effective in both divisions, and we will continue its implementation, listening to our customers closely and observing the operating environment. The company’s result turned positive in the third quarter, during which Lindex achieved its all-time record performance. The full-year adjusted operating result was EUR 68.3 million. The company has a strong cash position.
We continue to further develop the sustainability of our operations. We have added sustainably produced, environmentally friendly materials to our selection. Circular services and products are also becoming an increasingly important part of our business model. Lindex has, for example, worked internally with its model ‘10 circular design principles’ to design its assortment for circularity and longevity. Lindex also launched several pilot projects within second hand. In its department store in the centre of Helsinki, Stockmann launched the Relove shop, which specialises in second-hand fashion, and expanded its provision of sewing services. In addition, Stockmann has made determined progress in its work to cut emissions, and we are also committed to the SBTi initiative, as a consequence of which we will set science-based climate targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations and the Group’s value chain.
I would like to thank our customers, employees and partners for their cooperation and contribution in 2021!
Stockmann Plc, Chief Executive Officer