MOSCOW, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Japanese corporation Panasonic is planning a network of up to 30 monobrand stores in different regions of Russia, including Moscow, by 2016, Panasonic Russia chief executive Shigeo Suzuki told Itar-Tass.
Over the last two-three years, an increasing number of manufacturers had turned their attention to monobrand stores, this trend encouraging Panasonic to develop a similar project, Suzuki said.
Russia was among the few countries where Panasonic has monobrand networks, as well as Britain, Japan and the U.S. The company’s goal, Suzuki said, was to form a market that would provide up to 20 percent of Panasonic sales in Russia.
The project launched last summer is being developed in cooperation with the Russian Astrom group of companies. The first store of this kind opened in the Siberian city, Novosibirsk, in July, another opened in Kazan, capital of the Tatarstan republic, in October.
February will a see another store open in the Urals city, Yekaterinburg, to be followed by similar shops in Siberia's Omsk, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major centers.
Suzuki says the company has plans for 10 more stores over the following 14 months, the target being to open up to 30 outlets over three years. He added that joint investment in the opening of one store was about 10 million roubles ($303 million). Each store was planned to be located in malls with an average area of about 150 square metres and a product range of 450 in all categories of goods.
Suzuki explained the company’s aim was to demonstrate the whole line of Panasonic’s consumer goods, including those not yet available in major retailers’ stores. A monobrand network is planned to become a pick-up point for goods ordered in Panasonic’s official online store and to accept equipment for repair.
Tikhon Smykov, chief executive of Inventive Retail Group, specialists in creating monobrand stores, estimated the share of monobrands in Russian electronic retail at 5-7 percent.
“Monobrand stores are necessary to support the brand and service loyal customers. And such sales are costlier than traditional retail,” he told Itar-Tass.
Meanwhile, transport company RATEK’s Anton Guskov said a monobrand was usually the source of marketing support and estimated its market portion at less than 10 percent.
Monobrand stores of other electronic producers such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Bork and HTC are already present in Russia.
Panasonic Corporation is one of the world’s leading producers of household appliances and electronics, set up in Japan in 1918. At the end of the last financial year, the corporation decided on a restructuring worth $2.5 billion.
Given positive results of the first six months of the current financial year finishing on March 31, 2014, Panasonic has revised the net profit forecast for 2014 to 100 billion yen (almost $1 billion) from the earlier expected 50 billion yen.