Successful wholesale with over a hundred years of experience
Today, Wihuri Oy Aarnio’s Metro wholesale is one of the leading players in its field in Finland with a nationwide Cash & Carry network.
Wihuri Oy Aarnio’s wholesale trade began in 1901 in Kaarina when Hjalmar Aarnio delivered pastries baked by his wife Edla to shopkeepers for them to sell. He soon noticed that larger batches gave more leeway for bargaining, so he started to buy more goods than he actually needed and sell them to shopkeepers. Hjalmar changed the company to a limited liability company named Hjalmar Aarnio Oy. After Edla passed away, Hjalmar continued to run the business on his own until he met his future wife Rakel Hellberg.
The business grew, and Tukkukauppojen Oy (Tuko) was founded in the 1940s as a merger of Aarnio Oy, which had changed its name, Tukkukunta, and three other companies. Aarnio's business continued to grow in the post-war period with the establishment of a coffee roastery, dressmaker’s shops, and new warehouses, until a general strike and depression took their toll on trade. The offices were moved to Tampere, and sales picked up again when sales representatives started paying regular visits to customers.
First Aarnio Cash & Carry founded
The first Aarnio Cash & Carry was founded in Turku in 1962. Shopkeepers could quickly restock their shelves at the Cash & Carry and also received a small additional discount if they collected the products themselves. By the end of the decade, Aarnio was the largest Cash & Carry chain in Finland.
After being widowed by Hjalmar, Rakel Wihuri, formerly Aarnio, had married maritime counsellor Antti Wihuri who had started his career as a shipowner. She served as an important link in connecting the life’s work of two pioneers. In 1961, the businesses of Aarnio and Wihuri were merged to form Wihuri-Yhtymä. Soon after, in 1970, Wihuri-Yhtymä Oy acquired the share capital of Maamiesten Kauppa Oy, a competitor which was as big as Wihuri in terms of revenue. The company merged with Wihuri in 1976. Wihuri-Yhtymä had been renamed Wihuri Oy a year earlier.
Antti Aarnio-Wihuri continues his successful life’s work
Antti Aarnio-Wihuri became Chairman of the Board of Wihuri Oy in 1988 and still holds this seat. He has made a long career serving the family business, continuing the life’s work of his father Hjalmar Aarnio, his mother Rakel Wihuri, and Antti Wihuri. Development of the Tuko wholesale business began in earnest in the 1990s, and the chain was named Metro. The wholesale business came to include the Cash & Carry, delivery services, the fresh produce department, and terminal operations. Aarnio's first Metro Cash & Carry was opened in Tampere in 1991.
Professional service near you
Wihuri and Cooperative Tradeka merged their daily goods businesses in 2005. The resulting company was named Tradeka Oy (Suomen Lähikauppa Oy since 2008), and Wihuri became its third-largest shareholder. Tradeka sold its share in the purchasing company Inex Partners and moved over to Tuko Logistics. Tuko Logistics became a cooperative in 2011, and Wihuri owns 41 percent of it.
Wihuri invests in its own logistics center
Wihuri gave up its shares in Suomen Lähikauppa in 2012 and now focuses on daily goods wholesale trade. In 2016, the Board of Wihuri decided to build a logistics center in Viinikkala, Vantaa. Wihuri’s Metro wholesale transferred to independent procurement and logistics in 2018, and the procurement cooperative was consequently dissolved. With our own logistics center, we can provide even more efficient and high-quality services to our growing customer base.
Today, Wihuri Oy Aarnio’s Metro wholesale is one of the leading players in its field in Finland with a nationwide Cash & Carry network. We make day-to-day business easier for 30 000 foodservice and retail customers every day all over Finland. Wihuri remains a family-owned company and continues its journey as a pioneering Finnish conglomerate.