"Ship" changed course - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) dated 03/20/2023

"Ship" changed course - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) dated 03/20/2023

The Korablik chain of children's goods stores, which could not cope with the growth of its debt load, attracted a new investor. Oleg Sokhatsky, the beneficiary of a large supplier of toys and other goods for children MTK Alisa, became the owner of the business. Own retail allows distributors to increase the profitability of sales. However, now the implementation of this strategy is complicated by the growing competition with online platforms.

Oleg Sokhatsky, the beneficiary of a large supplier of toys MTK Alisa, became the new owner of the Korablik network, two sources told Kommersant among retailers and retail real estate consultants. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, on March 15, 2023, Mr. Sokhatsky received 5% in the operating company of the Korablik-R LLC network. The rest of the share belongs to Korablik JSC, whose owner is not disclosed in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. Oleg Sokhatsky did not answer Kommersant's questions by e-mail. In MTC "Alice" and "Ship" comments were also not provided.

"Ship" founded in 2000 by Dmitry Zuev. According to its own data, it has more than 150 stores in a hundred cities of Russia. The revenue of Korablik-R in 2021 decreased by 43%, to 3.7 billion rubles, the net loss was 252.7 million rubles. According to Infoline estimates, in 2021 Korablik ranked ninth in sales of children's goods in Russia, with a share of less than 1%.

According to its own data, the range of MTC "Alisa" includes over 10 thousand items. The company calls itself a distributor of the brands Brio, Kidz Delight, Jakks Pacific, promoted the symbols of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, and distributed the products of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It produces toys under its own brands 1Toy and "Alice knows what to do!". Also sells strollers, bicycles, cosmetics, food. In 2021, revenue increased by 3.3% to RUB 3.03 billion, net profit was RUB 69.6 million.

According to the interlocutor of Kommersant, the founder of Korablik had long been planning to retire and sell the business. In February 2022, Forbes, citing its sources, reported an interest in acquiring Korablik of the Vanderkind company controlled by Alexander Mamut, which developed Hamleys toy stores in the Russian Federation. Now these points are planned to be renamed "Winnie". The Ideas4Retail Group, which includes Vanderkind, also did not answer Kommersant's questions.

Alexey Vanchugov, managing partner of Vanchugov & Partners, notes that Korablik's financial difficulties began a couple of years ago. Recently, the network had to reduce the number of operating stores, adds Antonina Tsitsulina, president of the Association of Children's Goods Industry Enterprises. According to Mr. Vanchugov, MTK Alisa was one of the largest suppliers of Korablik, and the owners of the network could sell the business to the distributor for debts.

At the end of 2022, short-term liabilities of LLC Korablik-R were 3.4 billion rubles, of which 3 billion rubles were accounts payable. Dmitry Gabyshev, managing director of Peregrine Capital, agrees that the cost of the transaction for the sale of Korablik could be symbolic, given the level of the company's debt, which is almost equal to its revenue in 2021. Another large network of children's goods, Daughters and Sons, faced similar problems, recalls Alexey Vanchugov. At the beginning of 2022, the network structures began to prepare for bankruptcy.

Mikhail Burmistrov, CEO of Infoline-Analytics, notes that specialized networks of children's goods are experiencing difficulties due to reduced demand and increased C2C commerce at sites such as Avito. Online platforms are also increasing their positions, which today account for almost 60% of sales of children's goods, Antonina Tsitsulina notes. According to Mr. Burmistrov, distributors of children's goods are also under pressure, so they need their own retail channel for stable sales. The profitability of the retail business is higher than that of wholesale sales, Alexey Vanchugov adds. According to preliminary estimates from the Association of Children's Goods Industry Enterprises, in 2022, sales of children's goods grew by 3%, to about 1 trillion rubles.

Alina Savitskaya

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