More than fifty new stores: how the MasterZoo network develops and overcomes the challenges of war

Thanks to what the MasterZoo network manages to strengthen its position in the Ukrainian market of pet products even in war conditions, and how the RDA consulting company helps it in this.
Last year, Ukrainian retail faced a whole set of problems and difficulties. They did not miss MasterZoo, the country's largest chain of pet stores. Among the key challenges of the past year, the company notes the drop in demand, the outflow of a large part of the audience abroad and the destruction of stores.

"However, we have passed the test of resilience and learned to be flexible. At the level of strategic management of the company, we understand that war is not a reason to abandon long-term plans and our external and internal standards. We believe in Ukrainian business, continue to invest in the market and improve our product," says Tetyana Pinska, director of the MasterZoo retail chain.

During the first weeks of the full-scale invasion, the company's management suspended the business to refocus. However, he began to restore the work of shops already in March. And already in April, he focused on growth, expanding his presence in the west of the country. In this way, the company followed its customers, a significant part of which was forced to leave the southeastern regions of the country for safer regions.

"Almost every week we open a new store, constantly expanding the geographical presence of MasterZoo. At the same time, we are actively developing two parallels: offline and online directions, as a single omnichannel MasterZoo brand. We invest a lot in the online store, which presents the widest possible range of goods with delivery to any settlement where the post office operates. In order for buyers to be able to receive goods quickly and conveniently, since the beginning of the war, they have carried out enormous logistical work, redistributed warehouses and established new ways of delivery," Tetyana Pinska clarifies.

In total, the MasterZoo chain has opened 51 new stores since the large-scale invasion began. An important role in the process of expanding offline retail was played by the consulting company Retail & Development Advisor (RDA), with which MasterZoo has been fruitfully cooperating for many years. With her direct support and assistance in finding and renting suitable premises, the retailer opened more than 20 retail outlets with a total area of ​​1,600 square meters just last year. m. Thus, having delegated part of the functions from the brokerage, the company could concentrate on improving the level of service and product.

At the same time, RDA's priority task was to find locations in regions where MasterZoo had not previously been represented. Mainly in the west of Ukraine: in the Volyn, Rivne, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. At the same time, MasterZoo continued to strengthen in its traditionally strong markets. For example, a new two-story flagship store was opened in the same Kyiv on Victory Avenue.

"In the process of finding new locations for MasterZoo stores, the most important thing for us is to choose the premises that best meet the requirements of the partner with acceptable lease terms. As a rule, cities with a population of 150,000 or more, ground-floor premises with a wide storefront and access to a high-traffic street, or detached buildings with a separate entrance, parking and no direct competitors within a 2 km radius are considered. Of course, ideal options are rare, so in the case of location in a promising location for successful work, other premises are also considered," says RDA company manager Alina Abramtseva, who is responsible for cooperation with MasterZoo.

Currently, the MasterZoo network unites 135 pet stores in 29 cities of Ukraine, but plans to continue the active development of the offline network in 2023. At the same time, the company is developing e-commerce channels: investing in logistics chains and concluding extended partnerships (for example, with monobank). Including as a result of these actions, the demand for delivery from the MasterZoo online store is steadily growing, and users share positive feedback about the service in the framework of regular surveys. In March of this year, the retailer also launched delivery of goods in partnership with Glovo. Currently, this service is available in 14 stores in all districts of Kyiv, but in the future it is planned to gradually add other cities to the Glovo platform, as well as expand the assortment for delivery.

"Our mission is to develop a culture of care and concern for pets. And we are sure that it depends on the conditions we create for them and their owners. That is why, despite the obstacles, we continue to actively develop the network and online store so that pets in different parts of the country receive the necessary goods for a comfortable and happy life. We constantly collect feedback from our customers and, based on this data and market analytics, we see where there is demand and which regions to move to first. In 2023, we plan to open another 60 stores, expanding our presence in the western and central regions of the country," notes Tetyana Pinska. MasterZoo's top manager adds that the company's growth correlates with consumer demand and the dynamics of the zoo market as a whole. After the spring collapse of last year, now the Ukrainian petfood market is already moving upwards and, according to optimistic forecasts of MasterZoo, this year should grow by at least 3-4%.

Source: https://rau.ua