Gulliver activates online sales and launches a new project
How did the stop in children's retail business, the fall of the ruble, and the overall retail crisis affect the requests and requirements of the retail chains, especially those specializing in children's fashion? Natalia Ryzhkova, General Director of Gulliver Trading House, told about this during the online conference "Supplier in the retail chain":
– The most important decision that we made in this situation was that we went online quite early, earlier than all our competitors – in mid-March. This decision was complicated by the fact that we had never worked in this format. And, as a leader, I had a problem - I had to learn trusting people without permanently monitoring their work. Our school of building a business meant strict control over deadlines. When your employees are located in your office sitting in front of you, you can quickly track the fulfillment of the tasks and make some adjustments. And when you find yourself online, this process can be suspended for objective reasons, simply because your employee's Internet connection went off.
The second point is that we have learned to expect the worst. Today, no one can say what awaits us in the second half of the year. Therefore, back in mid-March, we decided to focus on a pessimistic scenario, and we developed a stress scenario that suggested a complete closure of retail outlets in April-May. And we had made a wrong guess because nothing was open yet even at the end of June. To date, only a few stores have opened in the Moscow region. That is, in April and May, we had zero profit in all 280 stores. The government makes different decisions on opening dates in different regions. The results of the interval in our work are disappointing: in the toys category, we record a fall of 40%, in clothing - up to 80%. Of course, we have increased online sales, but their share in our total sales is only 5 %. This is a serious lesson for us, which has made us take certain actions.
At the moment, we have three online stores: one platform for selling toys, and two platforms for selling fashion brands – Gulliver and Button Blue. Now we have made structural changes, allocated a separate business line, formed a team, and are launching the Gulliver Market project. On this site, we will unite all our brands – both toys and two clothing brands. We plan to enter the market selling all the goods that we have in our business under our Gulliver umbrella brand. We invited the specialists to head this project back in January, and I hope, we will have it launched already in the third quarter. This will give a new impetus to development; a new growing sales channel will be started.
Of course, we see a certain perspective in the development of our relations with marketplaces. I perfectly understand that this is a new reality that has entered our life, so we will develop this business segment. Last year, the Gulliver brand entered Amazon Europe; we started in 6 countries, and we will be developing this project.