You can’t leave Saiturinpörssi with empty hands
On a freezing February day in 1992, Miika Ranta, then 13, followed the opening of the first Saiturinpörssi (“Miser’s Market”) in Malmi, Helsinki, with some trepidation. Recession had taken a firm grip of Finland, but his father and a friend had boldly decided to set up a new store. The store sold tools and, from the very first, the idea was to sell everything as cheaply as possible, cheaper than anyone else.
The door closer was immediately put to the test, as Saiturinpörssi turned out to be a big success. Now, 25 years after the opening, the Malmi store is still there, and Miika is the second generation managing director. In response to customer wishes, the selection has expanded from tools to 20,000 items, which is an excellent achievement for a store only 500 square metres in size. There are Saiturinpörssi stores all over the Helsinki area, with a loyal customer base that follows the special offers that appear every week.
”We have more than enough goods for sale here,” laughs Miika among the packed shelves.
”Our stores have an individual character and are somewhat unassuming, as we focus on being able to boast about our cheap prices. We also give our customers easy-going, flexible and friendly service into the bargain,” he adds.
Special offers that even impressed a president
During the interview, there are customers in the Malmi store from all walks of life: a student buying groceries, pensioners inspecting discounted socks and a worker choosing between drill bits. The Kallio store can even boast of a visit by a president.
Kalasatama residents will get their own Saiturinpörssi store in autumn 2018, when a new store will open on the ground floor of REDI. There will be guaranteed treats for penny-pinchers, with products even below production prices. Miika admits that their prices aren’t always sensible.
”Our product selection is surprisingly varied and entirely comparable in terms of quality, as we mainly sell the same goods as others. We are a shareholder in a purchasing company that acquires products for their member retailers from around the world without intermediaries. We also buy a lot of leftover and liquidation lots from importers and manufacturers, as well as products with faulty packaging or barcodes, which hi-tech superstores can’t enter in their systems. This means that we often sell goods at prices that make our customers smile and our competitors frown,” says Miika.
The shopping centre location attracts customers
Miika says that locating their new store in a shopping centre was a deliberate decision, as individual street-front stores no longer attract modern customers. The choices of location have been successful, and Saiturinpörssi’s business is growing slightly. The REDI store will help fill the gap left by the dismantling of the Saiturinpörssi store in the Itis shopping centre due to expansion work.
The opening of the new REDI store does not require much from Miika yet, but he will start to purchase goods in the spring and, during the best summer holiday months, he expects to be working around the clock. On the day of the opening, all 20,000 items will be in place. For now, the rush is elsewhere, as Christmas lights need to be in the stores in time.
3 X why REDI
- It’s where the customers are
- A growing area with enormous potential
- All roads lead to REDI, whether you are traveling by metro, car or bus.