Finnish eco and organic retailer Ruohonjuuri says sales across the company (it operates 15 stores across Finland) were up 7% from the beginning of the year to 7 May, compared to the corresponding period last year. 

Thanks to a huge effort by staff and continuing high levels of loyalty from customers the retailer has been able to operate “the widest possible opening hours” throughout the crisis and, in the words of CEO, Arto Ranta-aho, is ready to face the future with “confidence and energy”. 

In a recent post on Ruohonjuuri’s website, Ranta-aho comments: “We are grateful and impressed that even in difficult times, our customers have found their way to both our store and our online store.

“The last few months have not been easy for Ruohonjuuri, and we have had to make a lot of additions to meet the challenges of the time. Both staff and customers have needed to be flexible and adapt. Employees have been transferred from one store and task to another, which has also increased the level of multi-skills and overall understanding. Thanks to the shaping of operations, larger layoffs have been avoided during difficult times. No one has had to be laid off full-time, but part of the administration and store employees have been laid off part-time for 80% of working time for May-July.”

Despite the testing times, Ruohonjuuri’s customer and staff satisfaction remained. The retailer is recommended by 95.40% of customers, while staff satisfaction was also rated at 77.36% between 1 January and 31 May. Ranta-aho says Ruohonjuuri’s “solid value base contributes to making the company resilient, which makes it easier to cope even in exceptional times”.

Rermarkably, Ruohonjuuri opened a new store at Kaari, Helsinki’s Kannelmäki shopping centerthe height of the crisis, and has further Helsinki store opening scheduled for this month. 

The Ruohonjuuri online store, which previously operated in connection with the Kamppi store, also moved to considerably larger and more functional premises in Helsinki’s Kontula in tMay. The retailer’s online operation has grown exponentially, especially during this year’s spring, with +153% growth over March-May compared to the previous year.