Stockmann's history

Heinrich Georg Franz Stockmann (1825-1906) of Lübeck arrived in Finland to work as a bookkeeper and cashier at the Nuutajärvi Glassworks.

The Nuutajärvi Glassworks opened a shop in Helsinki. The premises were leased in a brick house along the Market Square. The house belonged to Mrs Lampa, the wife of a magistrate, and the shop manager was G.F. Stockmann. The shop stocked a wide range of goods and the metal nameplate on the outside bore the name: G.F. Stockmann.

Stockmann was founded on February 1, 1862. At that time, G.F. Stockmann took control of the business, which he, from the outset, had managed in his own name.                            

Stockmann opened his grand new business premises – the "continental department store" – in a building that he had acquired along the Senate Square. At present, the building is known as the Kiseleff bazar.                     

Stockmann opened a branch in the Kallio district of Helsinki. The business began as an ironmonger's but later, the range was expanded. The premises were also extended on several occasions, and the store did not close until 1960.

The one-man business became a limited company, G.F. Stockmann Aktiebolag. The shareholders were G.F. Stockmann and his sons Karl and Frans.          

A new limited company, Aktiebolaget Stockmann Osakeyhtiö, which had a wider shareholder base, was established at the end of the year. Its share capital was subscribed for in one week. The business, warehouses, real estate etc. belonging to G.F. Stockmann Aktiebolaget were transferred to the ownership of the new company the following year.

Keravan Puusepäntehdas, a carpentry shop, became a subsidiary of Stockmann. It was sold in 1985. Kerava's carpenter factory manufactored furniture for finnish homes for decades.

Beginning in 1911, Stockmann gradually acquired ownership of its present department store block in the centre of Helsinki. Initially, a two-storey brick building designed by Sigurd Frosterus was constructed at the corner of Pohjoisesplanadi and Keskuskatu. The Stockmann Sports Department and some other operations moved into the building.

A new department store building designed by Sigurd Frosterus was opened on four floors in the presence of Lauri Kristian Relander, the President of the Republic. The Senate Square store still remained the main branch.

Stockmann acquired Academic Bookstore. Nowadays Academic Bookstore has stores in connection with seven Stockmann department stores in Finland.

The new department store that is still beyond compare was completed and opened its doors to the public. Among the continental finesses the department store had were e.g. a grand atrium, escalators, a revolving door and the Soda Fountain, a place for customers to take refreshments on the second floor of the department store.

Stockmann purchased Taidetakomo Orno, which made artistic wrought iron articles and lamps. The company was sold in 1985.

Stockmann's shares were listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

Two bombs hit the department store during the heavy bombardment in February. The glass roof in the atrium shattered and the archives burst into flames. The threatening fire was quickly extinguished but the department store was closed for a week for repairs.

Getting well-trained personnel after the war was difficult. Therefore, the Stockmann School for Sales Assistants was established. As there was no municipal day-care for children in Finland yet, Stockmann founded a kindergarten in Munkkiniemi for personnel's children. The kindergarten operated until 1977.

Finland's first television broadcast was made in the Stockmann department store. It was broadcasted by cable.

Stockmann became a Ford dealer. Over the years Stockmann has also sold Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda car brands. The car business was sold in 2006.

Stockmann's first local department store was opened in Tampere. It was noticeably extended in 1965.                         

Oy Sesto Ab, a retail subsidiary dealing in supermarket goods, was established during Stockmann's hundredth anniversary year. Sesto was divested in 1999.

The department store in Pietarsaari was opened. It wound up operations in 1982.

Academic Bookstore moved from the department store to the new "Book Palace" designed by Alvar Aalto.

The department store in Kouvola was opened. It operated until 1982.

The department store in Tampere moved into new, considerably larger premises at the other end of Hämeenkatu. The department store in Tapiola, Espoo, was opened.

Tenancy of the Turku City-Sokos premises was transferred to Stockmann, which opened a department store in them.  

Stockmann acquired Oy Hobby Hall Ab, a mail-order company.

Stockmann pioneered modern Loyal Customer marketing. Another first was a cash card, which was introduced for the first time in Finland. Stockmann had already had account customers for several decades. The first "Crazy Days" were held in April, and they have been a giant success time and again.

Stockmann purchased the Seppälä companies, which run a chain of fashion stores.

The first Stockmann stores in Russia were opened in Moscow. The Argos enlargement was opened on 4 May 1989.

Stockmann's core values were confirmed to be: profit orientation, customer orientation, efficiency, commitment and respect for our people.

The department store in Helsinki's Itäkeskus shopping centre opened for business.

Stockmann opened a clothing and household appliances store store in Tallinn, Estonia.                            

The Tallinn department store was opened. It was enlarged from two storeys to five storeys, becoming the largest department store in the Baltic countries in 2000, when an indoor car park was also built for it.               

Due to a changed Companies Act, the Annual General Meeting approved the change of the company's business name to Stockmann Oyj Abp, in English Stockmann plc. The first Stockmann department store in Russia was openend in Moscow. It was enlargened in 2002.

Academic Bookstore opened an Internet store for consumers. The bookstore has had an order service for institutional customers on the Internet ever since 1994. Seppälä established a chain of stores in Estonia.

Hobby Hall Online was opened and it quickly developed into Finland's leading online site for consumers.

Stockmann opened a new full-scale department store in the centre of Oulu. A two-storey Seppälä was opened in immediate connection with the department store.

Stockmann opened the first store of the Zara fashion chain in Helsinki. The first shops of the Stockmann Beauty cosmetics chain were opened.                            

Stockmann opened a department store in the centre of Riga. First Seppälä stores were opened in Latvia. In Moscow, Stockmann opened the first Zara store in Russia.

Stockmann's second department store in Moscow was opened in the Mega South shopping centre on 17 April 2004. Seppälä opened the chain's first stores in Russia. Stockmann's third department store in Moscow was opened in the Mega North shopping centre on 15 December 2004.

Stockmann opened the first store of the Bestseller fashion chain in Moscow. Stockmann's seventh department store, Jumbo Shopping Centre in Vantaa was opened.

Stockmann entered into a cooperation agreement with Nike of Russia on setting up Nike stores in Russia. The cooperation lasted until 2010.

The fourth Stockmann department store in Moscow was opened in the Mega East Shopping Centre. Stockmann bought Lindex of Sweden, one of the leading fashion chains in Northern Europe.

Lindex opened its first Russian store in St Petersburg. Lindex expanded to Saudi Arabia when its franchising partner opened five Lindex stores there. Seppälä opened its first store in Ukraine.

Stockmann opened a new department store in the Metropolis shopping centre near Moscow city centre. Lindex opened its first store in Slovakia in September.

Hobby Hall was integrated into the Department Store Division as from the start of 2010. In March, Stockmann opened its fifth department store in Moscow in Golden Babylon shopping centre. Lindexin franchising partners opened stores in new market areas: in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stockmann launched its online store at the address

In November, the Nevsky Centre shopping centre and department store in the heart of St Petersburg opened its doors to customers. The enlargement of the Helsinki city centre department store was completed.

Lindex opened its online store in 28 countries, at the address In March Lindex opened a store in a new market, in Poland. Stockmanns seventh department store in Russia was opened in March in Ekaterinburg. Seppälä opened its online store in Finland in November.

Stockmann turned 150 years on 1 February 2012.

The Stockmann Group introduced a new organizational structure in June and established a new Fashion Chain Division, which included all current operations of Lindex and Seppälä. The Stockmann Group had two divisions; Department Store Division and the Fashion Chain Division. 

Finlands leading distance retailer Hobby Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary 29 June 2012.

Stockmann terminated the Bestseller franchising cooperation in Russia.

Akademic Bookstore turned 120 years 18 July 2013.

Stockmann terminated the Zara franchising cooperation in Finland.

Stockmann department store in Itis shopping center in Helsinki was re-opened on November.

Lindex celebrated its 60th anniversary in September with a magnificent fashion show in Gothenburg.

The renovated and enlarged Stockmann store in Tampere opened on 14 November. The department store gained an additional 4 000 square metres.

Per Thelin was appointed as Stockmann’s new CEO in October and took up his duties on 10 November 2014. Stockmann’s long-serving CEO Hannu Penttilä relinquished his duties in August and he retired on 31 December 2014.

Stockmann started to revise its strategy in 2014 in order to improve the Group’s long-term competitiveness.  The new direction was set in late 2014. Stockmann will focus on fashion, cosmetics, home products and food and complement its own offering with attractive goods and services from tenants.

Stockmann divided its operations into Stockmann Retail and Real Estate to better be able us to concentrate on core competences: Stockmann Retail on the department stores and online business and Real Estate on managing and developing the properties.


As of 1 January 2015, Stockmann introduced a new operating structure under three divisions: Stockmann Retail, Real Estate and Fashion Chains.

Stockmann sold its Seppälä subsidiary on 1 April 2015 to Seppälä’s CEO Eveliina Melentjeff and her husband Timo Melentjeff.

Stockmann sold the Academic Bookstore to the Bonnier Books AB media company on 30 September 2015. Bonnier continued to operate the Academic Bookstore business in Stockmann’s Book Building in the Helsinki city centre and in other Stockmann department stores in Finland, excluding Oulu.

Stockmann completed the divestment of its department store business in Russia to Reviva Holdings Limited on 1.2.2016. Stockmann continued to operate the Nevsky Centre shopping centre in St Petersburg. 

In September Lauri Veijalainen was appointed the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He had served as the company’s interim CEO since April 2016, and before that as the CFO.

Stockmann sold Hobby Hall to the Finnish SGN Group on 31 December 2016. Hobby Hall's business operations were transferred to the new owner on 1 January 2017.

The Department store in Oulu was closed on 31 January 2017.

Stockmanns new department store in Tapiola was opened on 16 March 2017.

Stockmann sold Delicatessen's business operations in Finland to S Group's regional cooperatives on 31 December 2017. Delicatessen's business operations were transferred to the new owner on 1 January 2018.

Stockmann sold the Nevsky Centre shopping centre in St. Petersburg to the PPF Real Estate on 24 January 2019.

Covid-19 pandemic affected globally. Stockmann division applied for corporate restructuring. CSR strategy was integrated into the Stockmann division's business strategy.

Helsinki district court approved the  corporate restructuring programme. Series A and B shares were combinated into one STOCKA share series. The department store properties in Tallinn and Riga were sold in December.

Stockmann turned 160 years on 1 February 2012. The department store property in Helsinki city centre was sold in March.