French retailing company ‘Auchan’ will open its first convenience store under the brand name ‘Every Day’ in the underpass near Smolensky Square. The mini-shop format should attract customers who avoid supermarkets but who make small purchases every day.
In spring, Moscow’s authorities offered the largest retailers (who include ‘X5 Retail Group’, ‘Metro’ and ‘Auchan’) retail space in subways and Metro passageways. From 100 to 300 square metres have been offered at Smolensky Boulevard, Bolshaya Spasskaya, Zemlranoy Val, Academic Sakharov street, Chernogryaznoy garden, Novy Arbat and Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya. Auchan’s mini-shop format was developed following talks with Moscow’s authorities.
Large retailers have recently tended towards mini-shops. The Russian subsidiary of German network Metro C&C has two mini-shop formats: ‘Bean’ convenience stores and pilot- ‘Bean Express’ shops, opened in the underpass near Kurskaya metro station on 27 October 2014.
‘Beans’ are a network of franchised shops (they have only one owner in Moscow and are acting at the moment as a franchise showcase) in which the owners sell a selection of goods usually available in Metro C&C. The retailer launched the project in 2012 and in 2014 decided to expand further. “At the moment, Moscow has about 15 ‘Beans’ stores, but by December there should be another 10. By the end of the year we expect 30 shops in Russia – in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaluga and Rostov-on-Don” said Oksana Tokareva, Head of corporate and external communications for the Metro C&C group.
“The different shop formats add additional costs to the retailer. Different work standards, different retail outlet formats, different buyer behaviours”- assessed Vitaly Vavilov, Partner at Strategy Partners Group. “Retail chains are willing to pay these costs because growth in the retail market is slowing. Embarking on these ‘near home’ stores is a less competitive niche but still a potential market, as Russia does not have enough convenience stores. Additionally, unlike supermarkets, where consumers are sensitive to prices, coming once a week and buying lots of goods in one go, prices in convenience stores can be more flexible.”