As of the 1st of January 2016 opening hours of shops and hairdressers have been freed from legislative control. Earlier the allowed opening hours were as follows:
In practice most shops is downtown Oulu have been open 9 am - 6 pm on weekdays (bigger supermarkets and department stores are usually open until 8 or 9 pm), 9 am - 4/5/6 pm on Saturdays, and 12 noon - 6 pm on Sundays. From mid November until Christmas all shops are allowed to stay open until 9 pm on Sundays.
Smaller grocery stores (max. 400 sqm) can be open according to their own discretion except on public holidays.
Clothes can be bought in supermarkets (inexpensive), department stores (moderate) and boutiques (expensive). The main shopping areas in Oulu are:
In Oulainen the main shopping area is the centre of the town.
As clothes (especially winter wear) are relatively expensive in Finland, students are recommended to bring warm clothing such as sweaters, insulated jackets or thick coats with them. Warm, waterproof footwear with a good griff is also needed.
Books and stationery can be bought in supermarkets or bookshops. Also the student associaton at Oulu University of Applied Sciences' Kotkantie Campus maintain bookshop services. In the centre of the town you can find Suomalainen kirjakauppa bookshop.
The business hours of grocery stores and supermarkets are usually from Monday to Friday 9 - 21, Saturdays 8 - 18 and Sundays 12 - 18. Shops can be open according their on discretion. Many, especially smaller corner stores are open until 10 or 11 pm daily, some until midnight. The Sale grocery store in Raksila is open 24/7.
Kiosks are open until 9 - 10 p.m. every day and sell certain basic foodstuffs such as bread, butter, cheese etc. Also some petrol stations sell foodstuffs. There are also many hot snack kiosks and pizzerias which are open until late at night.