Jenny Hellman, CEO Visit Luleå, Karin Johansson, CEO Swedish Trade Federation and Niklas Nordström, Deputy mayor.

Jenny Hellman, CEO Visit Luleå, Karin Johansson, CEO Swedish Trade Federation and Niklas Nordström, Deputy mayor.

Trade pilot in Luleå becomes model for Swedish cities

Luleå Municipality and the Swedish Trade Federation are collaborating to develop a model for city and site development with focus on trade. The model shall also be appliable in other cities.

By including trade in city and site development planning from the beginning, municipalities can develop favorable conditions for trade, and gain more trade establishments in the right places. The requirements are clear guidelines and rules, a joint vision, and coordination between municipal administrations.

“Trade has a crucial role to play in creating sustainable, attractive cities for businesses, inhabitants and visitors. In Luleå alone, there are around 76,000 people who need food, goods, and new experiences. The private and public sectors have a big job in jointly putting together the jigsaw puzzle that – in everything from construction and infrastructure to supply – satisfies this demand. Therefore, we are very happy to work with Luleå to develop a model for city and site development with a focus on trade,” explains Karin Johansson, CEO of the Swedish Trade Federation.

The Swedish Trade Federation chose Luleå as one of its pilot municipalities since collaboration between trade and industry and the municipality’s administrations is already established. A trade investigation was performed last spring, and a trade strategy is to be developed. Luleå Municipality is also investing in local development plans, and Luleå City Center will get a development plan focusing on meeting points, buildings, trade, and traffic.

“Luleå Municipality is very positive towards developing collaboration with the Swedish Trade Federation, and towards contributing a new model. It’s not just about building homes, but rather an attractive city with a varied trade and entertainment supply, and top class services,” says Deputy mayor Niklas Nordström.

A fresh survey from HUI research shows that three of four Swedish municipalities completely lack a trade policy. Developing a strategy for trade development in Luleå is therefore the next concrete step in the collaboration with the Swedish Trade Federation.

“Trade is Luleå’s third biggest employer, and the average visitor spends a third of their travel budget there. So there is great potential in this customer group – an increase of visitors of just a few per cent could lead to more people in employment, increased tax revenue and trade profitability. We welcome the pilot project’s collaboration, which will strengthen trade and attract more visitors to Luleå,” says Jenny Hellman, CEO of Visit Luleå.

Retail trade in Luleå turns over 5.3 billion SEK (2014). That’s equivalent to a third of private consumption. A total of 2,408 Luleå inhabitants work in retail trade.