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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Regional Appliances Giant Sets Sights on the Capital

The nation's largest home appliances chain unveiled its first megastore in Moscow on Thursday and laid out plans to quadruple its market share in the capital within a year.

Eldorado, which has 255 stores in 137 cities, spent $8 million on its 5,200 square meter flagship store in Gorbushkin Dvor, home to the relocated Gorbuskha CD and video market and a hive of smaller outlets selling everything from plasma screens to kettles.

"We are serious about coming to Moscow and we are here to stay," Eldorado president Igor Yakovlev said.

A company spokesman said the megastore cannot officially open for business until it resolves some administrative issues with City Hall. He declined to elaborate, except to say that the store should be open in a couple of weeks.

Eldorado already has 5 percent of the Moscow market, according to research agencies. It opened its first outlet at the end of last year followed by five more in May. It also snapped up Elektrichesky Mir's chain of nine stores for an undisclosed sum and intends to operate them under its own brand.

The company is not connected to the downtown high-end supermarket and restaurant of the same name.

The chain expects to gross $800 million this year after posting sales of $500 million last year, and will increase its number of stores to 300 from 255 by January, Yakovlev said.

Eldorado is the most recognizable electronics and domestic appliances name in the regions, according to Expert MA. Now, Yakovlev, said, the company's goal is to become a household name in Moscow and capture 20 percent of the $5 billion a year industry.

Yakovlev said the company plans to borrow $20 million by the end of the year to help fund the expansion, which will include several more hypermarkets by the end of 2003.

The locations were not given.

"In the future we will be in a position to compete with the biggest international firms," said Yevgeny Mikheyev, general director for development.

Eldorado is unlikely, however, to face competition from international majors like Auchan or Ramstore -- which have appliance sections -- except in Moscow.

"Western firms are wary of the regions, people don't have the kind of income that they do in Moscow -- so naturally they want to come to the capital first," said Yulia Nikulicheva, senior research analyst at real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle.

"It will be as long as three years before the big chains venture out into the provinces," she said.