The executive director of Ukrainian retailer Varus, Natalia Azjukowska, has said that its stores are "sufficiently stocked" despite the ongoing conflict, in an interview with Polish retail trade portal Wiadomości Handlowe.
Varus, currently the fifth biggest retailer in Ukraine, currently has 116 stores, mainly in the Kiev, Zaporizhia and Kirovograd regions.
As Azjukowska told Wiadomości Handlowe, all its store network is currently operational, expect for one store in Energoda, in the Zaporizhia region, which lies in occupied territory.
"Unfortunately, we are not able to deliver the goods there, because they do not open humanitarian corridors," she said.
New Store Openings Paused
New store openings have been put on hold for the moment – prior to the start of the conflict, the retailer had planned to open eight new stores, while ten stores were set to undergo redevelopment, an indication of the group's "ambitious development plans", Azjukowska said.
In order to maintain stock levels, the group has received support from the Ukrainian government, which established a 'food committee' in the early stages of the pandemic, however the business has also faced supply chain challenges, Azjukowska told Wiadomości Handlowe.
"There are also very difficult issues, including problems with transport and fuel," she said. "The state helps us in this case as well. Officials cooperate with the Ukrainian post office and railways in the delivery of goods. They also regulate the issue of raising prices."
According to Azjukowska, some of the operating structures employed during the pandemic, such as remote working, have been employed, ensuring that the business' management is able to continue to operate despite Russian aggression in some parts of the country.
"The cooperation of all retailers is at a very high level," she added.