There is growing demand for great café experiences and artisanal bakery products.
Fazer Retail combines artisanal bakery products and high-quality delicacies with first-class experience. In Fazer Cafés, excellent taste is complemented by scents, sounds and stylish design to create a comprehensively enjoyable experience. Gateau’s fresh breads have been embraced by customers in Finland and Sweden looking for everyday luxury.
Performance in 2018
The competitive situation in the bakery shop and café business was increasingly challenging, with both newcomers and established players increasing their market presence. The grocery channel is gaining ground in the unpackaged bread category, impacting bakery shop sales of artisanal bread. Following a somewhat challenging spring and summer, performance took a positive turn in Finland during the last three months of the year.
We have focused on building the organisation for future growth and recruited new talent to expand our retail expertise. Two new Gateau stores were opened in Helsinki, Finland: one in the city centre and one in the newly built REDI shopping centre. In Sweden, three unprofitable Gateau stores were closed. A new Fazer Café, with an updated concept, opened its doors in Helsinki in November, and the unprofitable café in Vaasa was closed at the end of the year.
Fazer Café Kluuvikatu – the very first Fazer Café, opened in 1891 in Helsinki – was renovated and its offering refreshed with new products. The flagship café’s renovation was carried out with respect to the historical milieu of the current building, dating back to 1930, and the Finnish National Board of Antiquities was consulted about all changes.
During 2018, sales to e-commerce B2B customers doubled in Sweden and are expected to continue growing. In Finland, a new cooperation with S-Group was initiated around sales of Gateau artisanal bakery products in one of S-Group’s chains.
The expansion of our retail business will continue to be an important focus area in our strategy implementation, and we will examine potential new concepts to increase its versatility. We will focus our efforts on organic growth in the Nordics.
We will maintain our strong focus on customer experience and develop our service culture further. At the same time, we will seek and implement improvements in operational efficiency and streamline our processes to ensure profitable growth.