Russia’s Stavropol furniture factory proved successful on the Central Asian markets.
During the recent three years Era furniture factory from Stavropol managed to boost its sales from 600 million to 2.5 billion rubles. It was the first time the company showed such a spectacular dynamics especially against the unstable economic environment in the country. Sergey Kudlik, commercial director at the company believes that the growth resulted from the factory’s technological opportunities and precise calculations of the market.
Era focuses on middle-class elegant classical furniture. Providing the best quality furniture finishings, Era offers a good alternative to Chinese companies on the Russian market. Before the domestic economical crisis of 2014/2015, Chinese products had a substantial share in Russian retail segment. Still, Era’s great goods and exceptionally low prices attracted many new customers.
One of Era’s key achievements in 2018 was enhancing exports to Central Asia and Transcaucasian region.
“We saw the best dynamics in Kazakhstan,” explains Kudlik. “Last year, we had a 57% growth in the region, thus we became the major Russian cabinet furniture supplier on the country’s market. It is also noteworthy that our annual turnover in Kazakhstan has already exceeded 500 million rubles, and our overall import share to the country has reached 18.5%.
Demand in Kazakhstan is fluctuating. It depends on geography, for instance, the north prefers elegant classics, while the south opts for flamboyant Empire style. Besides, the country doesn’t have consolidated logistics. To reach the higher indices, we established relationships with local wholesale groups: in Kazakhstan, there are more than a hundred of them, and we cooperate only with the largest companies.”
In Northern Kazakhstan, Era works with wholesale and retail company Kvant, which is focusing on supplying furnishing and electronic goods. Besides having its stores in Uralsk, Aksay, Atyrau, Almaty and Astana, Kvant renders services to over 50 small retail companies operating in Northern and Central Kazakhstan.
“We opened an Era regional warehouse with branches in Uralsk and Aktau,” reports Mikhail Pshenichniy, head of Kvant. “Monthly we import up to 15 trucks loaded with furniture from Stavropol, and we still see the growth prospects. Within a year Era managed to outplay all our Russia suppliers, about 80 companies. The reasons are clear: the factory predicted the demand. Classical furniture has always been popular in Kazakhstan, but it was Era that offered the right prices.”
Another company’s partner in Kazakhstan Daurentay Shakurov entered the top three Era dealers list, and received a certificate of gratitude for providing the best warehouse in the country.
“We work in the Southern Kazakhstan,” says Shakurov. “We mainly focus on such cities as Shymkent, Turkestan, Taraz, and Almaty, of course. Our consuming is very different from the one in the Northern Kazakhstan. The south has primarily muslim population, it doesn’t have industrial monotowns full of standard condos, instead we have blooming private housing. Our clients prefer massive posh furniture. Another reason we have steady sales here is that Almaty and Shymkent are very stable regions, besides, the market here is growing.”
Almaz Ibraev, an old partner of Era in neighbouring Kirghizia dwells upon picking-up consumer market.
“I am sure Era made three fundamental steps and thus succeeded immensely,” says Ibraev. “Firstly, the company studied the Central Asian furniture market very thoroughly and came up with a rewarding product collection. Here I mean style, functions and prices. According to these benchmarks, Era is performing better than any other importer. Secondly, Era executives managed to study and drastically improve their reclamation policy. Finally, Era is very flexible and it is quickly reacting to the market environment changes. Our company is very dynamic in Kirghizia, we offer exclusive goods here. However, the country is still rather small. Where should we grow to? And the most sensible answer for us are Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. At the moment, we are building our retail chain in those countries. For instance, this year our annual turnover in Uzbekistan has amounted to 33 million rubles”.
According to Sergey Kudlik, Era won’t stop strengthening its foreign ties. Feeling comfortable in Central Asia and Transcaucasian region, the company is thinking of entering the markets of Ukraine, Mongolia, Turkey, Iran and then other countries.