“We have just changed the format. Removed everything unnecessary which, based on our experience, was not a great seller or which we could not provide good prices for because we do not produce it ourselves,” says Michael Derbasov, Director of OOO Torgovy Dom Mikhailovsky, (a limited liability company under the laws of Russian Federation). He adds that their own produce now makes up to 80% of all the range of goods they sell.
In other words, anything you can buy at Pyaterochka or Magnit is going to be hard to find in Mikhailovksiy from now on. As for the unique goods of local producers which are not presented by national supermarket chains in the region as well as Mikhailovsky’s own produce such as gastronomy, fresh bread and pastry, fish produce — all of these are what the chain is going to attract its customers with. Only those items of external suppliers which complement their own goods are going to stay, for example, beer which people buy together with locally produced fish.
Changing formats and focusing on unique goods and gastronomy is a trend for many reginal chains in Russia. This is a reason why many retailers can survive in the competitive market with stronger federal players who are still increasing their market share. Obviously, Astrakhan region is not an exception in this battle. It is nearly impossible for local chains to compete against Pyaterochka or Magnit in terms of the basic range of goods from larger producers. These goods give no extra credit to the store for being unique, besides, national chains can easily offer better prices due to their volumes and direct contact with the producers.
There is no Land on land
Once extremely popular in St-Petersburg, the chain Land has closed down two more supermarkets in Tipanov Street and Novocherkasskiy Prospect. The company is represented by only two stores these days. Just last year the chain announced the plans to open new stores, one in the centre, on Moika Embankment, and the other one on Vassilievskiy Island. Yet up to now the plans have not been fulfilled, nor any works have been carried out.
Earlier Land left one of its key locations, the shopping centre Garden City in Primorskoye Highway. Azbuka Vkusa moved in after that. Besides, the 2020 attempts to take a few central locations Spar had vacated before it left the city have failed through too.
Experts say that it has been a while since the shelves in Land supermarkets have been full. Most goods sold there now are just like in Mikhailovsky supermarkets — their deli products.
The premium segment in St-Petersburg is being kept afloat by mostly Azbuka Vkusa, a federal chain, with a little bit of help from a local one, Super Babilon, which used to be big, but now it only owns two stores. In addition, there are some independent premium supermarkets in different parts of town, such as Repinskiy 24, Kievsky, Nevsky and others.