Stockmann, Helsinki centre

The Stockmann department store is a culturally significant business building and department store located in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. It is one of many department stores owned by the Stockmann corporation. Annually, about 17 million customers visit the store and it is thus the largest department store in Finland. It is also the largest department store in the Nordic countries in terms of area and total sales. The Stockmann logo represents a set of escalators, because the first escalators in Finland were installed in the Stockmann department store in Helsinki. Another important part of Stockmann is the light yard.

Especially the clock at the main entrance, colloquailly "Stockan kello" ("Stockmann's clock"), has become a symbol of Helsinkian city culture as a popular meeting place.

The department store was designed by Sigurd Frosterus and built in 1930. It is part of the Gazelle block in the district of Kluuvi. The new expansion of the building is based on Sigurd Frosterus's plans.

In 1989, the Argos house located in the same block was joined into the Stockmann building. During the renovation, only the facade of the Argos house was preserved. Because of this, Stockmann expanded to fill the entire block bordered by the streets of Mannerheimintie, Aleksanterinkatu, Keskuskatu and Pohjoisesplanadi. The department store has seven floors, not counting the basement and the eighth floor, which contains other businesses.

Expansion of the department store

As of 2007, there is a renovation process going on at the Stockmann department store in the Helsinki centre, with the aim of expanding the store. The project is called "Kaikkien aikojen Stockmann - Alla tiders Stockmann" ("Stockmann of all times"). The building work has already been started and is planned to be completed in 2010. After the expansion, the store's area has grown by 10 thousand square metres, making it 50 thousand square metres. After the expansion, the department store is thought to be among the largest in the whole continent of Europe (the largest department store in the world, however, is part of the Macy's chain, located at the Herald Square in New York City, U.S., with a total business area of 198.5 thousand square metres).

The department store is being expanded both underground and at the centre of the store. The current light yard is planned to be covered, so that 1.5 thousand square metres of business space are added to the sixth to eighth floors. At the eighth and topmost floor, there will be a restaurant world, with 950 customer places. The restaurants will have a view of the lower floors. The menus of the restaurants will cover everything from fast food to gourmet food. The functions of the different floors are still being planned, but even now it is known that the loyal customer services and the ticket office will be moved to the eighth floor, and the seventh floor will include beauty and health services.

In 2008, 200 thousand cubic metres of rock will be blown out from under the ground, and moved from there via a connection tunnel to near the St. John's Church and from there to the end of Hernesaari and finally to the Vuosaari Harbour on barges. At the deepest point, the digging will extend to 30 metres.

During the building work, the elevator and escalator systems of the old department store will be clarified. After the renovation, there will be 40 renovated elevators and escalators. Also, the lighting and air conditioning of the department store will be improved.

The new parking hall will triple the about 200 current parking spaces of the department store. A 600-car parking hall will be built underneath Mannerheimintie. The three-floor hall will have a connection to Ruoholahdenkatu as part of the central maintenance tunnel, and to the crossing of Kalevankatu and Mannerheimintie. The parking hall is planned to be completed in 2008, after which the current parking places will contain new business space.

The food department will double in space, when the department will be built into one level, reaching out to underneath the Academic Bookstore and Keskuskatu. The food department will have about 5 thousand square metres.

Stockmann is using 125 million Euro for the renovation work. The corporation thinks that renovation will increase the annual sales revenue by 50 million Euro.

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