Laplandia chain thinking of entering offline trade in Russia
Laplandia Market, a Finnish hypermarket chain, is considering options for launching its own retail store in St. Petersburg for trading imported products and household goods.
According to Mohamad Darwich, the owner of Atma Trade Oy group (the chain’s operator), they actually have just such a plan. “We cannot talk about this in detail now, but we are already at the first stage: we are studying this issue, weighing all the pros and cons," he explained. According to him, the decision on entering the offline trade in St. Petersburg will be made in the near future.
Initially, Laplandia Market stores were aimed at customers from Russia, most of whom were residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. During the pandemic, after the closure of the borders, the company's turnover fell sharply. The chain had to close one of its shops in Imatra and leave two operating in the area of Torfyanovka and near Lappenranta. In 2021, Laplandia Market launched online trade of its products for Russian consumers.
"Most of all, we sell food products to Russia: coffee, sweets, chocolate, vitamins and minerals for children and adults, and dairy products. They account for 70% of our sales. The remaining 30% are shoes, household goods, household chemicals and so on," lists Mohamad Darwich. In the seafood category the chain sells trout caviar and marinated herring in glass jars and canned fish.
The average check in the online store is 5 thousand rubles. He calls St. Petersburg the main market, which accounts for up to 50% of sales. After the Finnish authorities closed the border posts on the eastern border with Russia (the ban was introduced until February 11, 2024), goods have to be transported through Estonia or Latvia. On average, the car delivers parcels to St. Petersburg in 5-7 days.
Mohamad Darvich emphasizes that despite the sanctions, purchases for personal consumption within 5 kg do not violate the law.