Kyiv, July 15th, 2008 - OBI, the leading European DIY and garden retailer is to invest 20 million Euro in the Ukrainian market. – The German company is currently present in eleven European countries with net sales of EUR 5.8 billion with more than 515 stores and is aggressively expanding in CEE and CIS.
OBI is currently building DIY superstores in Kharkiv, Odessa and Mariupol that will open this year creating 1,000 jobs and greatly enhancing the local DIY market. In addition, superstores are planned for Kyiv and other sizeable cities in Ukraine.
OBI will operate its stores in Ukraine through a joint venture in co-operation with Gennady Bogolubov, one of the major shareholders of KB Privatbank. Mr Bogolubov commented that “The opportunity for retail business in Ukraine is rapidly expanding and that DIY and home improvement are a particularly exciting segment. I am excited to be working with a company such as OBI, the market leader in Central and Eastern Europe”
Sergio Giroldi, OBI CEO, commented: “We intend to further fortify our market leading position in Central and Eastern Europe. Convinced of our competitive edge built on OBI’s strong value proposition, our superior store formats and comprehensive DIY competence, we will establish OBI as the leading DIY brand across CEE and CIS countries. In the years to come we will invest heavily in extending our store network. In so doing we are determined to move fast and commit ourselves to a dynamic profitable growth path.”
“The decision to come to Ukraine is a significant step towards bolstering our market leadership in the region”, says Dieter Messner, OBI Board Member responsible for the international business. “The country offers us very attractive growth potentials in a fast developing retail environment”, he adds. OBI plans to quickly become a major player in Ukraine leveraging its decisive competitive advantage.
Keith Smith, Managing Director for OBI Ukraine explains: “Just as in Western Europe DIY will become the way forward for many home owners particularly as the cost of services rise. We will offer the Ukrainian customer a unique shopping experience. At our stores they will find a well-balanced assortment of DIY products, products for decoration and home improvement, and finally, a garden centre unmatched in the market.” Our first three store openings are planned for the fourth quarter 2008. “We will invest more than EUR 20 million in the following year and push our expansion in order to become the market leader in Ukraine within a few years”, says Mr. Smith. The company will operate modern large-scale retail stores (8-14’000 sqm) in all parts of the country.
OBI company portrait
With more than 500 stores, OBI is the undisputed No 1 in the German market and one of the leading European DIY retailers. OBI is currently present in Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia. In the next few years, OBI’s expansion will remain focused on Europe. OBI´s target is to reach market leadership in all these countries. At the moment, OBI is represented in eleven Central and Eastern European countries, with the entry into Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia and Greece imminent. OBI is the fourth largest DIY retailer in the world and employs more than 38,000 people. In 2006/07 OBI stores recorded overall sales worth EUR 5.8 billion. According to a survey by the TNS Infratest institute, OBI is among the best-known brands in Germany with unprompted brand awareness in July 2007 of 97%.