STOCKMANN plc PRESS RELEASE October 16, 2003, 14.00 p.m.


Stockmann will open a new department store in the centre of Riga, the capital of Latvia, tomorrow morning, October 17, at 9.00.

The department store is part of a joint project of Stockmann plc and Rautakirja Oyj which comprises a new six-storey building with a total floor area of about 32,000 square metres. The fourth Seppälä store in Latvia, restaurants and other ancillary services will be opened in the building. Rautakirja's part of the project is a 14-theatre cinema complex, which will be opened on October 31, 2003.

The department store and cinema building is located downtown on a plot of land owned by Riga City, in the address 13. janvara iela 8, right next to the central railway station. Construction works were started in early spring 2002. The site was designed by the Latvian architects' office Postform Projekts in cooperation with the Finnish architects' office Arkkitehtikonttori Petri Pussinen Oy. The main contractor has been SIA J.O.Z PEAB Group. Stockmann's share of the capital expenditure is approximately EUR 24 million.

Stockmann's subsidiary Hobby Hall has mail order operations in Latvia but for the Stockmann department stores, this is a breakthrough into new territory. The sales area of the Riga department store is 11,000 square metres. The building complex also comprises a car park and is linked to the adjacent parking facility by an underground tunnel. As a result, customers have about 450 parking spaces at their disposal.

The department store employs approximately 400 people. Almost the entire personnel consists of Latvian citizens. In addition to the director, Harri Saarto, there are a few Finnish nationals in the department store administration as well as a couple of Estonian nationals who have gathered experience in Stockmann's Tallinn department store. Also Mr Saarto transferred to Riga from Tallinn where he earlier acted as the director of Stockmann's department store.

This centrally located Stockmann department store in Riga is expected to be a success - it will be Riga's first full-scale department store in the heart of the city. Sales of the first full year of operation are estimated to total around EUR 40 million.

For further information, please contact: Jukka Hienonen, Executive Vice President of the Stockmann Group, Director of Stockmann's Department Store Division, tel. +358 50 388 9670.


Hannu Penttilä CEO

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