A source at MTI (operated by Intertop) told about the plans of the Intertop network regarding entering Russia on condition of anonymity. According to the interlocutor, a representative office of the company is already operating in Russia. MTI Group President Vladimir Tsoi confirmed that the company has plans for development in Russia. “But we will not comment on them before the opening of the first stores,” he said.
By the end of the year, Intertop plans to open five stores in Russia, said Alexandra Chirkayeva, deputy director of the retail space department of the consulting company Jones Lang LaSalle (searches for space for the company) in Russia. Intertop is now actively looking for retail space. And not only in Moscow, but also in the regions, such as Krasnodar. The company is interested in renting shops with an area of 450-600 sq. m (about the same Ukrainian stores have) in shopping centers, ”she added. The Russian office of Colliers International is also looking for space for Intertop. “They have ambitious plans - the company expects to build a network in Russia comparable in size to their business in Ukraine,” said Galina Maliborskaya, director of the retail real estate department at Colliers in Russia.
In Ukraine, MTI is already a leader in footwear retail, says Dmitry Ermolenko, co-owner of the Maratex chain (develops OVS, Esprit, Aldo, River Island networks in Ukraine and Russia). The company has been operating in the footwear market since 1993 and unites more than 250 stores under the signs of Intertop, Kidditop, Plato, Ecco, Geox, Clarks, Marc O`Polo, Timberland, Vagabond, Skechers, Camper, Braska and others. Intertop is well represented in Kiev and regional centers. It is unprofitable to enter the regional markets of Ukraine in the current conditions, ”said Mr. Ermolenko.
Entering Russia is the right decision of the company, the footwear market there is several times larger in volume than the Ukrainian one, and it is recovering faster after the crisis, says Dmitry Ermolenko. According to his estimates, in the first half of the year, the growth in sales in the footwear market of the Russian Federation did not exceed 6% on average compared to the first half of 2011, and by the end of the year, as the research company Euromonitor International predicts, the growth should be 17%, to $ 25,5 billion. In Ukraine, the market capacity is estimated much more modestly - $ 1,78 billion in 2010 (Euromonitor did not make a forecast for this year). “In Ukraine, depending on the segment, sales in the first half of the year did not grow or even fell by 5%,” the expert clarifies.
However, in Russia, Intertop is deprived of one of its advantages, which it enjoys in its home market. The company's strong position in the Ukrainian market was ensured, in particular, by exclusive contracts for the sale of footwear from Ecco, Geox and others, explains Andrey Makarov, deputy general director of the Ultra chain of stores. In Russia, the rights to sell Ecco footwear, in particular, are now held by the EKKO-ROS company. Now the chain has 185 stores. The newspaper "Kommersant" writes about this.