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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

British Firm Sees Castorama Expansion

VedomostiA Castorama store in Moscow. The home improvement retailer aims to open 50 more stores over the next decade.
Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, plans to spend at least £250 million ($510 million) adding 50 stores in Russia over the next decade, company spokesman Nigel Cope said Monday.

The London-based company will open its fifth Castorama store in the country in Rostov-on-Don in September and aims to double the number of outlets in 2008, Cope said. The 10-year plan assumes a cost of £5 million per store, excluding the expense of acquiring land, he said.

Home improvement sales in Russia are growing at about 12 percent a year and are worth about £10 billion, according to a presentation Kingfisher gave to investors in Moscow last week. The retailer, which has 1,150 store workers in the country, is opening outlets to cater to the 70 percent of Russian households that own their own apartments, and the 50 percent that have dachas, Cope said.

"Customers in Russia need more advice than they do in the U.K. because they tend to be less familiar with do-it-yourself," Cope said. In China, where Kingfisher also has stores, consumers require a more comprehensive "do-it-for-me" service, he said.

Kingfisher appointed its first Russian head in 2004 and opened its first store in the country in February 2006, Cope said. Oleg Pisklov, formerly deputy managing director of Castorama Russia, became managing director on March 1 after Peter Partma resigned.

Partma said in February that OBI Bau & Heimwerkermaerkte, Europe's third-largest home improvement chain, and open-air markets in Moscow have the leading positions in Russia's home-improvement market. He said Kingfisher aimed to be the biggest seller of do-it-yourself products in the country.