Russia's Lenta Sees Flat Like-For-Like Sales Growth In 2019
Russian retailer Lenta has posted like-for-like sales growth of 0.1% for full-year 2019, with both traffic and average basket sales flat for the period.
Total sales at the retailer were up 1.0% for the year to RUB 417.5 billion (€6.06 billion), with its retail business up 4.0%, and its wholesale business down 53.2%.
Lenta opened eight new hypermarkets and three supermarkets in the full-year period, while it also closed three hypermarkets and seven supermarkets.
In the fourth quarter, like-for-like sales were down 3.6% the group said, with total sales down by 1.4%.
Due to the fourth quarter sales dip, the chief executive of the business, Hermann Tinga, said that he was "not pleased" with the group's performance, both at the end of the year and for the full year in general.
“It partly reflected ongoing changes in consumer behaviour and competitive environment," he said. "In the context of intensified competition, we saw an inflow of new customers, but at the same time our consumers visited our stores less frequently and bought fewer items. A low-inflationary environment combined with increased level of promotional activity in the industry also put pressure on retail business.
"On top of that, we faced internal challenges as our non-food sales declined, as our offer did not meet consumers expectations."
The group said that it has focused on improved communication to its customers through both online and offline channels, introduced a range of tailored promotional campaigns, and also launched a number of in-store events.
"While not everything went the way we wanted in the latest quarter, I am happy with our results in supermarket format," Tinga added. "We delivered a strong total sales growth of 7.8% thanks to the efforts we made for improving our offering and communication with the customer in the format."
Lenta also announced the reopening of a hypermarket in St Petersburg in November, which it said 'represents a brand new vision of shopping space'.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.