The KPO cooperative is no ordinary retail outlet. Known as Prisma, S-Market, Sale, ABC service stations and Sokos Emotion, among many other names, KPO is a diverse and trusted Ostrobothnian service provider. The cooperative is a part of the national cooperative S Group, and its owners include over 120 000 Ostrobothnian customer-owners.
“KPO’s size and scope of operations come as a surprise to many, which is perhaps no wonder. We have 150 outlets in Ostrobothnia, a revenue of over €800 million, purchases of over €100 million from over 2400 Ostrobothnian companies and entrepreneurs, and each year we pay €25 million in bonuses, interest, and payment-method benefits to our customer-owners,” explains KPO’s CEO Kim Biskop.
This retail giant was originally founded as a chain of shops owned by regular people, and it still operates on the same principle today – although nowadays on a somewhat larger scale. According to Biskop, there is development work being carried out in KPO, which is aimed at making customers’ everyday lives easier.
“We still exist to provide our customer-owners with benefits and services. Recently, we have been focusing especially on harnessing artificial intelligence and robotics to help our customers. We were among the first to introduce a mobile application, which brings bonus information, banking services, and benefits to clients’ phones,” says Biskop.
Digitalising the shopping services enables increasingly fluent communication between the vendor and the customer. KPO is already using such things as a grocery shopping planning service, the online store Foodie and mobile refuelling. B2B customers have their very own S-business and online receipt service.
“We have introduced a lot of new services, but still we have only just begun our intensive plans to utilise information technology. Although KPO is already a price leader and a cost leader in the grocery store market, we still have a lot of room to comprehensively improve our operations, so that it would be even easier for people to run their daily errands at our outlets,” says Biskop.
Business sector: Retail trade, hardware and home decoration, beauty, car dealership, fuel, hotel and restaurant services, real estate business
Employees: 1,800 permanent employees +1,000 summer employees
Sales: €800 million