26 Apr 2022 16:41

OBI stores reopening in Russia

MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) - The OBI chain of DIY stores in Russia is reopening.

The OBI Khodynskoye Polye store in Moscow will open on April 27, and all hypermarkets in Russia will reopen before May 11, when the May holidays end, the chain said. The obi.ru website and the OBI mobile app will also be available, but so far only for information purposes. The online store's relaunch will be announced later.

The German DIY retailer OBI said in March that it had decided to shut down its stores and operations in Russia. However, the category director of the OBI chain in Russia, Maxim Suravegin said later that the retailer planned to resume operations after rectifying a "technical disruption" and the stores would start working within two weeks. But OBI then confirmed its stores in Russia would remain closed

It emerged in April that OBI had pulled out of the Russian business. Boris Lyuboshits, founder of the Audit Group consulting group and the Cesar Consulting legal agency, who in 2021 headed companies from the cosmetics manufacturer Natura Siberica group for several months after the death of its founder Andrei Trubnikov, became the temporary manager for the transfer of the OBI assets to a new investor, the Kommersant newspaper said.

Kommersant said later that Kazakhstan's Asadel Holding, the OBI franchise owner in Kazakhstan, might become the new owner of the OBI chain of DIY hypermarkets in Russia.

"Our task after the stores open is to preserve all the very best, for which customers like us, and give a new impetus to the chain's successful development in the Russian market," Lyuboshits, representing the company by general power of attorney, was quoted as saying in the latest announcement.

Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the reopening of the OBI stores in Russia was "a positive signal to the market and other foreign businesses." "The OBI case can be described as a good example of a civilized solution to the issue of continuing the work of Russian enterprises with foreign participation," the Industry and Trade Ministry quoted Manturov as saying.

OBI had worked in Russia since 2003. It had 27 stores and 4,900 employees in Russia.