Retail project "Smarteri" of Lev Khasis stopped work

The project "Smarteri", founded by Lev Khasis and developed by the team "Globus Gurme", is being closed. Even the rejection of the format of the "retail club", which was not widely popular in Russia, did not allow the project to be retained.
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The network of club supermarkets "Smarteri" is on the verge of closure, RBC reported two sources on the market. Now "Smarteri" no longer accepts orders: "the reception of orders is temporarily suspended for technical reasons," follows from a message on the website. By telephone hotline answering machine also informs consumers that orders are temporarily not accepted.

Information about the suspension of Internet orders and closing of the store on the Kaluga highway in New Moscow appeared in the community of Smarteri on Facebook in early August. The network has accumulated debt to suppliers, RBC executive director of the association Rusprodsoyuz Dmitry Vostrikov told RBC.

In the "Smarteri" of the official comments refused. "Reception of orders on the site is currently not done temporarily," said the manager of the online store, Andrei Shchekalev. The

The owner of LLC Smarteri, according to SPARK, is the Cypriot offshore company Koltiv Consultants Limited. The main shareholder of Koltiv Consultants Limited, according to the Cyprus registry, is Fosbourne Properties Limited (99.5% owned by it), co-owned by Lev Khasis and General Director of STK and Globus Gourmet Andrey Yakovlev.

According to SPARK, the "Smartori" network is operated by the Metropolitan Trading Company (STK LLC), known as the operator of the Globus Gourmet grocery chain. Andrei Yakovlev said that he was on vacation until mid-September, and also declined to comment. Lev Khasis, deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank and co-owner of the STK, declined to comment.

A new philosophy of consumption

The network of club supermarkets "Smarteri" (derived from smart, store and territory) was opened in August 2015. The first stores of "Smarteri" appeared on the Leningrad and Kaluga Highways, and by the end of 2015 it was planned to open 30 stores. It was reported that the investment in the project amounted to about 150 million rubles. For several years, the management of STK planned to attract up to 1 million members of the club. Also in the plans was the opening of 50-70 stores in the capital and 15-20 in St. Petersburg. But "Smarteri" remained a small project: according to the information on its website, in 2018 the network consisted of all the same two Moscow stores, on the Leningrad and Kaluga highways.

The network was conceived in the format of the club: it offered consumers not just "another product network, but a new consumption philosophy," follows from the description on the project website. To shop at Smartori, customers needed to issue a club card. Initially, the club cards were paid - buyers could pay for club membership for a period of 30 days to one year, a card for a year cost about 6 thousand rubles.

But having worked in this format for a year, "Smarteri" in September 2016 refused to pay the required club cards. The model of paid membership did not meet expectations because of the low recognition of the brand and mistrust of it, explained then this decision to Vedomosti CEO STK Andrei Yakovlev. To the idea of ​​paid membership, "Smarteri" expected to return when the network will have about 100 stores.

According to SPARK, the revenue of LLC Smarteri in 2016 was 5.9 million rubles, a net loss of 3.9 million rubles. There are no data for 2017.

Did not enter the club

Business model "Smarteri" has become new for the Russian market. Its concept was to offer consumers "a specially selected assortment of quality goods without superfluous positions" - only about 4 thousand items. This allowed us to abandon expensive leases, reduce the number of staff and, as a result, set low prices, it follows from a video with a description of the project.

According to the idea of ​​the creators of the network, the format of "Smarteri" was supposed to combine the principles of the American Costco (self-service clubs of the club type) and the Spanish Mercadona (supermarkets with a narrow product line). American Costco is one of the largest networks of self-service stores in the world. Costco has almost 50 million paid subscribers, which brought to it in 2017 $ 2.8 billion of revenue. In July 2018, the company had 757 sites in different countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Iceland and France, but up to 87% of its sales come from customers in the US and Canada. The market capitalization of the company is now about $ 100 billion. The Mercadona network at the end of 2017 had 1,627 supermarkets in Spain, its revenue in 2017 was € 22.9 billion.

Unlike the large networks Costco and Mercadona, the supermarket chain Smartori was too local, the purchase volumes were small and there was no serious capital - this could be the main reasons for its closure, believes CEO of INFOLine-Analytics Mikhail Burmistrov. The project, he said, was interesting and technological, "but really nothing could offer the buyer - neither an attractive price, nor any special assortment."

The story of Smarteri does not mean that the format of club stores in Russia can not be effective, Burmistrov adds, citing the St. Petersburg network of wholesale clubs "Rows", whose prototype is also the Costco network. The "Ranks" have had more than two years to set up the format, but this is a large format of the hypermarket and other purchasing volumes, he points out. The network is focused on selling only "the most popular products at favorable prices," it says on its website. Now it has four shopping centers: three of them are located in St. Petersburg, and in the summer of 2018 the network entered the capital region, opening a shopping center in Mytischi with an area of ​​16.5 thousand square meters. m. It offers several types of club cards, the cost of which depends on the time and amount of purchases. Tariffs for wholesale and retail customers vary. The price for a club card varies from 410 to 5090 rubles.

According to the partner Bain & Company Evgeny Belashchenko, the club format can still be in demand in Russia: it cites the example of Metro Cash & Carry, where the membership card is issued for free. However, Metro is a much larger network than Smarteri. "The company did not open enough points, and it did not have a unique assortment or price offer, for which the buyer would travel specifically through the city, instead of going to the store near the house," the expert notes. - For example, Costco at the expense of scale offers very large discounts; in fact, buyers receive products at cost, and the company earns on the sale of club cards. " In order for the format with the club cards to work, the buyer must clearly understand what benefit he receives by acquiring a club card, and for how long he will return the money spent on it.

What is known Lev Khasis

Lev Khasis started his career in retail in 1999, when he joined the board of directors of ZAO TD Perekrestok. In 2006, under the leadership of Khasis, a deal was made to merge Perekrestok with the Pyaterochka trading network, as a result of which the largest retailer X5 Retail Group was created. From 2006 to 2011 Khasis was the chief executive officer of X5 Retail Group. Over the past five years, the company's capitalization has grown more than tenfold - from $ 1.06 billion to $ 11.22 billion. In 2011, Khasis left X5, fulfilling, as he said, "all conceivable and unthinkable obligations to shareholders". Soon Khasis was appointed Senior Vice President for International Operations of the world's largest retailer - American Walmart. But in the autumn of 2011 Khasis left Walmart and took the post of first deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank. The appointment of Khasis to RBC sources was associated with the desire of the head of the German Gref bank to make the retail network more efficient.