IKEA, the Swedish retailer, is looking to expand its presence across the regions of Russia.
The retailer is planning to come out of its consolidation period and invest €2bn between now and 2020, in expanding its shopping mall network across Russia. It already operates 14 huge shopping malls under its "MEGA" brand, which are located in the biggest cities on the outskirts of Russia.
The company is planning to construct a brand new 215000m² mall in Mytishchi in the northeastern part of Moscow, by 2018. The plan is to construct more centers in Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Voronezh and St Petersburg, according to the head of IKEA Shopping Centers Russia, Armin Mikaeli.
The retailer has held bank on new store openings in recent years and instead placed their focus on the development of existing stores. It decided to freeze Russian investment during 2011, due to unpredictable and excessive bureaucracy in some of the areas. The ‘tolerance to corruption’ by some of its staff members was an additional contributing factor to their decision.
Since the situation on both their concerns has improved dramatically, they have taken the opportunity to review their policies.
IKEA stated that in excess of 270m people used their centers last year and sales have increased by 6%.
The resilience of the company will be a strong factor as Russia goes into a period of low growth. The analytical company, Infoline, said that MEGA has seen increased attendance, whilst other retailers were losing customers.
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25 SEPTEMBER 2014, Russia
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