Overseas guests: foreign brands that hit the Ukrainian market in 2021

New brands from Sweden, the USA, Turkey, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Russia entered the Ukrainian market in 2021. They work in retail segments like furniture, lingerie, goods for children, footwear and clothes for grownups, cosmetics, and home appliances. 
Considering the pandemic, last year was not busy, meaning the lack of foreign brands’ appearance and their stores’ openings in the Ukrainian market. Still, 9 new brands came into being in Ukraine, the same number as it was in 2020. RAU reviewed their names, product sector, and TECs whether they had opened their first stores. 
IKEA (Sweden)
A Swedish network IKEA is certainly the “primary varyag” in 2021. It opened its first store in the Blockbuster Mall in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klychko, the head of IKEA-Ukraine Florian Melle, Blockbuster Mall’s co-owner Vagif Aliev, and Tobias Sebastian Thyberg, the authorized ambassador of Sweden in Ukraine, opened the store. 
For Swedes, IKEA in Kyiv has become the first store of the city format in South-Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia). The shop’s area in TEC Blockbuster Mall is over 5,000 sq. m packed with more than 2,000 items and homeware. In addition, 3,000 items, including furniture and other large-size commodities are available to order in the shop and get in one of the four delivery points. Besides, you can choose a courier door-to-door service at an additional cost. 
IKEA occupied two levels in the shopping and entertainment center. The entire range of available goods is on the first floor: office, home furniture, furnishings for bathrooms and kitchens, tableware, décor, etc. Retailer’s service area is also there. There is a delivery point to get the order, return, or exchange items on the ground floor. Buyers can return goods throughout the year. Besides, the warranty may reach 10 years for particular sofas and armchairs.  
Visitors in TEC Blockbuster Mall can use dedicated tools to plan module assortment IKEA. In addition, professional services to project home spaces are also available. 
The center of restored goods to resell returned items is located in one of the capital store’s areas. It’s also possible to restore personal IKEA furniture and take it for reuse. You will find furnished rooms, measuring 30–50 sq. m, to see ready interior solutions for bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. You can even buy something from those installations.
Let’s note that IKEA is a transnational corporation founded in Sweden. It produces and sells quickly demountable furniture, kitchen appliances, and home accessories. The retailer’s headquarters is in Netherlands. IKEA has been the most successful retailer worldwide since 2008. 
Carter’s (USA)
American brand Carter’s opened its first official baby and children clothing store in TEC River Mall, Kyiv, Ukraine, on 26 February. The Carter’s store occupies 100 sq. m. Outfit for babies and kids is included in its product range, as well as accessories for children under 8 years old. Brand collections present bodysuits, jumpsuits, baby supplies, pajamas, etc.
The brand’s online store carters.ua packed with popular and newest collections has also opened. Let’s mention that Carter’s is the largest retailer of exclusive clothes for babies and kids under 10 year old in North America. Carter’s, Inc. owns Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh brands, one of the most recognized labels in the USA. Their goods are in the leading shopping centers, national networks, and small shops in over 85 countries worldwide. In 2019, Carter’s sold 25% of the entire turnover in the market of children sleepwear and infant clothes.
LCW Kids (Turkey)
A Turkish chain LC Waikiki opened its first mono brand of children's clothing and accessories LCW kids in TEC City Center Tairovo, Odesa, on 1 March. 
The store, measuring 450 sq. m presents collections for children under 14. A new exciting spring–summer collection with many items made of organic cotton was presented in a new LCW kids. 
Note that LC Waikiki entered Ukrainian market in 2013. It has managed to become one of the largest clothing retailers in our country during this time. The company has scaled its business promptly. Now, LC Waikiki chain comprises 50 outlets with a total area of 40,000 sq. m.
Brand LC Waikiki was founded in 1985 in France. The chain includes 1,100 stores in 51 countries. Moreover, the company plans to increase the number of stores to 1,500 and 1,000 in Turkey and abroad, respectively. 
Kiko Milano (Italy)
The first official store of the Italian cosmetics brand Kiko Milano opened in TEC Ocean Plaza in Kyiv in early May.
There is a wide range of make-up, skincare products, nail polishes, brushes, and other accessories in the store that occupies 61 sq. m. All products are made of safe certified commodities and not tested on animals. 
Skin Trainer skin care line, matte red lipsticks, black and colored eyeliners, moisturizing lip gloss Lip Volume with visual lip volume’s increase, and long-lasting base Bright Quartet are the best brand’s products. 
Kiko Milano produces nearly 400 new shades annually and constantly updates a product range with seasonal lines. The brand’s motto is “Life is getting better in color.” 
Three more stores opened in TEC Nikolsky in Kharkiv on 29 May —  TEC Lavina Mall in Kyiv on 1 June, and TEC City Center in Odesa in August. Let’s note that Kiko Milano is a number-one brand of decorative cosmetics founded in 1997 in Italy. To date, the KIKO company comprises over 900 shops in 20 countries, and online stores in 35 countries. It offers a wide range of goods – over 1,600 high-quality items, including decorative cosmetics and innovative skincare products.
MEXX (Netherlands)
The Dutch fashion brand MEXX came back to the Ukrainian market on 15 September and opened its first shop with an area of 231.6 sq. m in Kyiv TEC River Mall under franchise.
Let’s revise that the first Ukrainian MEXX opened in 2003. The Delta Sport Company was responsible for the brand’s development in Ukraine. However, Mexx outlets started closing in 2014 when the company announced its bankruptcy. 12 stores had been working for that moment. Soon, they all were closed. 
Let’s note that MEXX is a trade mark managed by Mexx Group BV. It produces fashion goods like clothing for men, women, kids, and teens, accessories, perfumes, and homeware. 
Bimba Y Lola (Spain)
The first shop of Spanish brand Bimba Y Lola opened in TEC Ocean Plaza in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 15 September. The store with an area of 74 sq. m was located on the TEC’s first floor. It offers a wide range of clothing, footwear, pursues, bags, and accessories with a futuristic look.
Let’s note that brand Bimba Y Lola was founded in 2005. María and Uxía Domínguez design fashion clothes for women who prefer layering and non-standard ironic accessories. This brand follows family traditions. For example, Bimba Y Lola are the names of dogs owned by María and Uxía.
Business ladies opened their first store outside Spain in Paris in 2008. The brand started working online in 2010. Spanish designers skillfully frame the time-tested vanguard in laconic and restrained form. Special attention is paid to accessories. To date, the brand comprises 269 stores in various countries: Spain, France, Portugal, Columbia, Malaysia, Singapore, and others.
Love Stories (Netherlands)
Dutch lingerie brand Love Stories opened its first official store with an area of 63 sq. m in TEC Blockbuster Mall, Kyiv, Ukraine, in mid-November. Love Stories breaks the rules, combining non-traditional materials with different colors, patterns, prints, and laces. 
The range of goods includes lingerie, swimsuits, sleepwear, and beach dresses. Note that Marlos Hedeman founded Love Stories in 2014. To date, Love Stories boutiques are presented in Europe, Australia, and the USA. Giants like H&M cooperate with Love Stories.
BORK (Russia)
Rissian home appliances brand BORK opened its first flagship store in TEC Ocean Plaza in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 8 December. Premium-class home appliances are located on the first floor in spacious gallery with an area of 250 sq. m. BORK boutique includes zones for relaxation and tasting. A unique floor covered with natural stone and mosaic has become the main highlight of the design.
BORK plans to open several more stores and launch the online-store in Ukraine in the nearest future. Note that the “Technopark” company owned over 100 chain stores of consumer electronics in Moscow and Russian regions. Profile market analysis resulted in the decision to develop and promote a separate niche brand. For this purpose, the Bork Electronic GmbH company with the right for BORK brand was founded in Germany in the same year. 
Off-White (Italy)
In early September, it was announced that Virgil Abloch’s Off-White is planned to be opened in Kyiv. The Symbol Fashion Company, the owner of Max Mara, Brunello Cucinelli, and other stores in Ukraine, has become the brand’s distributor. 
The actual date of opening was not disclosed. However, its location in 4 Maria Zinkovetska Street was known. At the end of the year, it was revealed that the first Off-White store opened in Paris. Note that Off-White is an Italian brand of street-wear premium-class clothing. The company mainly focuses on seasonal street wear. An American designer Virgil Abloch founded the brand in Milano in 2012. To date, there are 24 mono brand stores worldwide. Besides, it’s possible to buy clothes in Barneys, Selfridges, Harrods, and Le Bon Marché malls.
Which foreign brands enter Ukrainian market in 2022? 
As RAU informs the Colliers International consulting firm, the pandemic has brought about changes in global companies’ development plans. 
“Ukraine is not a permanent leader in business development strategies. What is crucial for brands apart from potential customers? They pay attention to local credit and investment conditions. The latter is burning question, unfortunately. However, modern shopping centers and high trade turnover of international retailers working in Ukraine are strong reasons to consider us,” Colliers International noted. 
According to Ukrainian Commerce Guild’s forecasts, brands like Madame Coco (Turkey, homeware and textile) and Peek & Cloppenburg (Germany, clothes) will appear in Ukrainian market in 2022. 
Expert’s comment: Taisia Lytovchenko, CEO in Retail & Development Advisor: “2021 was not rich in new international brands, unsurprisingly. So, foreign expansion relegated to second place in the face of continued pandemics. Besides, unstable markets, fast-growing logistics costs grow, and general uncertainty matter. Nevertheless, series of remarkable retailers’ openings took place last year.
First, IKEA’s debut should be noted. A long-awaited launch of the furniture giant’s first offline outlet in Ukraine took place in the capital TEC Blockbuster Mall earlier in the year.
World retail is still reeling because of new COVID’s strains and other lockdowns in many countries. That’s why many companies have to postpone their business expansion and entering new markets. Hence, most world brands will develop through local partners. At the same time, their appearance will much depend on political and economic stability in the country and overcoming the pandemic. 
American Burger King, German food discounters Lidl and Aldi are the most famous brands whose appearance has been talked about lately. The activities seem real since Lidl appointed a Regional Director in Ukraine and Aldi has registered its trademark. However, their launch is still in question. Not for the first year there are rumors about international cosmetic retailer Sephora’s possible opening. Yet, there is no official decision on this expansion in Ukraine.”
Source: rau.ua