Stockmann is a big department store that opened on Nevsky Avenue, the main street of St. Petersburg, in November 2010. To build it, the owner dismantled three historical buildings, one of which was as old as the early 19th century. The company promised that the new faсades would be identical to the old ones, but the actual resemblance is very rough. The worst, however, is that while the original buildings were 5 and 3 floors high, the new store has 9 floors, and the top ones are made of modern-looking glass. This is now the tallest building on Nevsky and it totally spoiled many landmark panoramas of historical St. Petersburg.
Such construction has always been prohibited by St. Petersburg laws, but Stockmann was nevertheless granted official permission to build, and one can only guess why.
The demolished historical buildings can never be returned, but the beautiful views of the city can. This can be done if the top glass floors are dismantled. The store is disliked by most St. Petersburgers including even the governor, but the owner refuses to correct the mistake. At the opening ceremony, Stockmann CEO Hannu Penttila said the company would never make the building shorter. “Are you going to defend your city till death?” he added arrogantly.
This is something not to be said in a city that lost a million of its defenders in the WWII siege. And we have already had completed buildings made shorter or smaller because it became obvious that they spoiled the beautiful panoramas of St. Petersburg. The most famous example is the new Stock Exchange building on Vasilievsky island.
We believe that the historical look of St. Petersburg must be repaired, and Stockmann must be punished for violating our country’s laws. This is why we never buy anything in any Stockmann shop anywhere in the world. If you agree that laws should be abided even in foreign countries, and cultural heritage should be valued more than shopping, do join our boycott and tell your friends about it!