Helsinki is alight with big sales, starting much earlier and with lots of vacant shops in the malls, while new giant malls coming fast with the same old tired brand names.
The biggest and best located department store in Helsinki (Stockmann) is still crowded with loyal customers and tourists, but just check out the malls in Espoo – empty, ghostly and nothing that can really attract you…
These suburban places do not see the tourist flows and the main reason to go there is for the weekly caravan to buy food and drink for the family and enjoy the weekly shot of McDonalds.
A new shopping mall opened up this year in Helsinki called REDI – their opening fanfare was met with disastrous reviews, and they had to bring in a shiny new young boss, but now he will soon be facing competition from the next new mall in Helsinki that will be even bigger… called something like “Triple Your Bets.”
The boom days for building have lasted longer than other parts of the economy, and newly built unsold apartments and shopping space have ballooned in the construction sector. Several large construction and building renovation companies have seen their share prices fall dramatically.
Interesting times – how long will it take these companies to ask for bailouts one way or the other?