1980–1999 Metro Cash-and-Carries move over to Aarnio
Antti Aarnio-Wihuri has been Chairman of the Wihuri Oy Board of Directors since 1988. He has had a long career in the family business, and continues the life's works of his father Hjalmar Aarnio, his mother Rakel Wihuri, and Antti Wihuri.
Aarnio returned to the retail trade in 1988, when it acquired the Ruokamarkkinat chain. The chain consisted of the Ruokavarasto stores, whose business idea was to sell goods at a lower price than the competitors. They succeeded, thanks to their narrow product selection, large purchase batches, and tendering suppliers. Ruokavarasto became a nationwide chain in the 1990s, and it was merged with the RuokaSkotti and Valtti-Rabatti chains and the Suni Oy daily goods business.
Tuko started developing its own brand of wholesale trade in earnest in the 1990s, and the chain was named Metro. The wholesale chain combined Cash-and-Carries, delivery services, fresh produce departments and terminal operations into one business. Aarnio's first Metro Cash-and-Carry was opened in Tampere in 1991. A few years later, the Aarnio Cash-and-Carries were named EuroMetro, to distinguish them from other Metros.
The new T trade group, Tuko Group, was established in 1993, and TukoSpar Oy was in charge of supplying their daily goods. A group of former T store keepers founded the Tarmo chain. They chose Aarnio as their supplier, and the cooperation continues still to this day.
The alcohol wholesale monopoly was dissolved when Finland joined the European Union in 1995. Medium-strength beer, wines and spirits found their way into the Metro Cash-and-Carries.
With Tuko's new ownership arrangements, the nationwide Metro wholesale business was transferred to Aarnio on 1st May 1997. This also made Wihuri the largest shareholder in the purchasing and logistics company TukoSpar. The kiosk chain “10” also moved over to Aarnio.
Wihuri acquired the Sesto business operations from Stockmann in 1999. At the same time, Wihuri also separated its retail and wholesale businesses; Ruokamarkkinat operated the Ruokavarasto, Sesto and EtuJätti retail stores, and Aarnio operated the Metro wholesale business.