The luxury retail professional Steven Cunningham appointed as CEO of Zsar

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Zsar, the designer outlet village on the Russian border in Finland, opened November 2018, is announcing the recruitment of Mr. Steven Cunningham as the new CEO. Mr. Steven Cunningham has a long history in the fashion business and outlet industry across Europe and the USA. He has previously worked, over the past 14 years, operating the outlets for the two leading designer outlet operators, Value Retail and McArthurGlen. Prior to that, he has worked for one of the world’s leading luxury womenswear brand Escada for 14 years.

“Summer has started strong in Zsar – since midsummer night we’ve seen excellent growth in traffic coming to the Village. The majority of our guests have been from the South Finland area, but we are seeing a noticeable increase in Russian consumers. For weeks now our sales have been exceeding our expectations and we expect continued growth through the remainder of the summer and into early Autumn”, states Steven Cunningham.

The new CEO is excited about the potential of Zsar and is determined to build a leading designer outlet in northern Europe with a special focus on Russian customers shopping tax free. Zsar reached record week sales in late June, exceeding the Christmas and Easter sales by almost 50%. This trend is expected to be continued throughout the Finnish and Russian holiday season.

The Board of Directors of Zsar is thrilled to have successfully recruited Steven who brings years of experience both from fashion brands and more importantly, developing start-ups of designer outlets.

“We are very thankful to former CEO and founder of Zsar, Mr. Sami Vainiomäki, who has taken Zsar to where it is today and who has recruited Mr. Cunningham to take Zsar into the future. Mr. Vainiomäki will remain involved in Zsar both as a shareholder and as a member of board”, comments Petri Olkinuora, Chairman of the Board of Zsar.

For additional information:

Zsar, Chairman of the Board Petri Olkinuora, tel +358 400 333 256

Zsar, CEO Steven Cunningham, tel +358 50 428 8180

Zsar Outlet Village is the first Outlet centre in Finland, and the first genuine shopping destination in the Nordics. It is located halfway between St. Petersburg and Helsinki on the EU-Russian border, less than 90 minutes from Helsinki and 2,5 hours from St. Petersburg. With its international premium and luxury fashion, cosmetics and homeware brands, restaurants, coffee shops and other services, Zsar is a year-round shopping experience and a perfect day trip for whole family. All the products are sold with 30-70% discount from the full price, every day. The biggest owners are Ajanta Oy, Entrada Oy, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) and company management.

Photos of Zsar:

Ajanta Oy is one of Finland´s leading family-owned investment companies. Ajanta was founded in 1989 by Mr. Ari Salmivuori, a successful investor and entrepreneur. Since then, Ajanta has been the lead catalyst in a number of major corporate development activities and cross-border transactions.

Entrada Oy is a family-owned company that invests in growth companies and attractive development projects. These represent a variety of industries and development stages but the value is always created through active involvement. 

Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned venture capital and private equity company that invests profitably and responsibly, creating value from day one. Tesi’s investments under management total 1.2 billion euros and the company has over 700 companies in portfolio, either directly or through funds. Tesi helps boost Finland to the next level of growth and internationalisation.