By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Moscow-based Alexander Gorun studied international relations in Kharkov, Ukraine at the International Slavic University. In 2004 he receivedhis master’s degree in management from the Moscow Aviation Institute where he then joined its faculty to teach economics and management. Before heading sales for CHEF in 2010, Mr. Gorun worked on the sales team to distribute Microplane, Jaccard, Suncraft, Smith’s Consumer Products and other brands to retailers within Russia. In addition to Russia, CHEF has developed a distribution network in Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan.
Mr. Gorun began with an overview of Russia’s geography and population. The Russian Federation has a population of nearly 144 million. The greatest population resides on the western edge in 15 cities; Moscow has nearly 12 million with close to 20 million in the metro area and St. Petersburg has more than 5 million. Thirteen cities have more than one million residents. Russia is ranked the #8 economy in the world. Income average is $875 USD monthly for 2014. Income is highest in Moscow with nearly USD $2,000/month and St. Petersburg at USD $1,200 and $588/month in the smaller cities.
Moscow and St. Petersburg are the logistics centers, products go to Moscow first and then to other cities.
Main Holidays Impacting Sales
New Year January 1-9
Defender of the Fatherland February 23 (women buy for men)
International Women’s Day March 8 (men buy for women)
May holidays (Labor Day and Victory Day) May 1-9 (lowest revenue months)
Highest revenue months are October-December, followed by February and March.
How Find Distribution Partners in Russia
1. Visit major international expositions: International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago and Ambiente in Frankfurt.
2. Main exhibitions in Russia
Household Expo – September in Moscow
Consume Expo – September and January in Moscow
Houseware Expo – September and March in Moscow
Moscow Food Festival in summer and Food Show in November
PIR Hospitality Expo — for hotels and restaurants
PIR Gastronomic Christmas fair in December
3. Search the Internet
Visit websites of companies already operating in the Russian market
4. Key magazines
Afisha Eda since 2008 monthly circulation 80,000 copies
Gastronome since 2001 monthly food magazine, circulation 120,000
HlebSol culinary magazine since 2008 190,000 monthly circulation
Major Retailers in Russia for Top Quality Brands: Williams & Oliver with 10 stores and Cook House with 14 stores. Other important players include Uytera with 115 stores featuring mid-range products. Several hypermarket chains appear in cities; the X5 Retail Group is largest with 3,000 stores.
CHEF’s Key Retail Partners
“M. video” started in 1993; 340 shops in 146 Russian cities
Technosila electronic retail chain = 100 stores
Williams & Oliver for premium, deluxe housewares brands
At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Gorun answered questions about the instability in Ukraine, logistics and customs procedures, timing of shipments and invoices and brand recognition. Some 20% of Russian consumers are very brand conscious and prefer U.S. and European brands for their quality and reputation on country of origin; perhaps 80% of consumers are price sensitive. On product testing: Russia will do its own testing to allow acceptance. Product instruction manuals and packaging should include Russian language. When asked about product category gaps in the market, Mr. Gorun replied that all products are welcome.
Contact Alexander Gorun, Head of sales CHEF Ltd at email@example.com, tel. +790-319-14855