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The Helsinki Metropolitan Area includes the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. The area is the most important retail region within the country, with an estimated 4.0 million sq m of retail space. Other important cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti, and Kuopio. In total, there is on estimate approx. 30 million sq m of retail space in Finland. There are 101 shopping centres in the country and their sales represent 16.4% of total retail sales. In 2017, annual total sales in shopping centres grew by 1.7%, whereas on the national level retail sales increased by approx. 0.7 %. In general, shopping centres and big box retail parks are more common as retail destinations in Finland than high street shopping, which is often located at street level in central business district office buildings. This is largely the result of the urban structure, low population density, small-scale cities, and regional planning decisions. Another characteristic of the Finnish retail market is the amount of franchising, department store concessions, and partnered formats undertaken by international retail brands. In the past the number of international retailers represented in Finland has been rather low but lately there has been growing interest for the market by international brands from different retail sectors. Nordic retailers are relatively well represented but there is still plenty of room for international competition compared to several other developed markets. The economic outlook in Finland has moderated and growth rates are expected to decline slightly in the immediate years ahead.  Relatively strong demand and limited supply has put pressure on retail rents, especially in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area where historically vacancy rates have been low and remain under 5 % of the stock.

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