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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Furnishings Retailer Prepares for National Expansion

ST. PETERSBURG -- Laventa, a St. Petersburg-based company that operates home furnishing supermarkets under the SantaHouse brand, announced plans last week to become a nationwide retailer over the next few years.

Laventa opened its first regional supermarkets in Rostov-on-Don and Ufa in October this year. By the end of 2007, ten new supermarkets will open in St. Petersburg, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Samara, Lipetsk and Moscow, the company said. In the long term, the company expects to operate up to 150 supermarkets across the country.

"We want our customers to feel comfortable and come to our supermarkets as often as possible. In Ufa and Rostov-on-Don, as well as in other cities, we are undertaking the same marketing concept that proved successful for us in St. Petersburg," said Yelena Tsareva, marketing director at Laventa.

The retailer focuses its sales strategy on middle-income earners and has introduced special offers to attract newlyweds setting up home for the first time. The company also has special offers for corporate customers, such as hotels, restaurants and salons.

Laventa opened its first supermarket in St. Petersburg in December 2005. It currently operates five supermarkets in the city. The company spent about 80 million rubles ($3.2 million) on each of the stores that opened this month and expects to draw around 900,000 customers to each of its new outlets by the end of 2007.

"We have ambitious plans. By the end of 2007, we will open new supermarkets in Samara, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Lipetsk and Moscow," Laventa general director Tigran Gukasyan said.

Laventa is looking for plots in the regions to build shopping complexes on areas of more than 2,000 square meters.

"Interior design stores are an interesting and promising market sector," said Mikhail Podushko, director for strategic development at WorkLine Research. "At the moment, there are very few large companies in this market. Regional expansion could be an attempt to become the first company to occupy this market."