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Russia: new price segment appears at FIX Price discounter and plans IPO

Russian variety discount retailer Fix Price (owned by ) expands its assortment and adds a price category, 249 rubles (US$3.40). The decision to add another price segment is related to the expansion of the assortment with new products, which were not suitable for the sale of the previously existing fixed prices of the chain. The new price made it possible to replenish the assortment with goods of well-known brands, as well as goods in updated profitable packages in almost all product categories. To date, the Fix Price assortment includes about 1,800 SKUs, such as household goods, cosmetics, and food from foreign and Russian manufacturers in the following price categories: 50, 55, 77, 99, 149, 199 and 249 rubles, with about 80 percent of goods priced under 100 rubles ($1.40)

Further the Russian variety discounter has said it is considering listing on stock exchanges in London and Moscow, as the group seeks to capitalize on robust growth spurred by rising demand for cheap goods.

The initial public offering (IPO), which could value the company at more $6 billion, would aim to raise at least $1 billion, and would become the biggest listing by a Russian company in London since 2017.

The stock market listing of global depositary receipts is planned for March, with a secondary listing on the Moscow Exchange. The deal will be jointly coordinated by BofA Securities, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and VTB Capital.

Fix Price, whose business model is similar to that of variety store chain Dollar General, operates around 4,250 walk-in stores in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Georgia. The company, launched back in 2007 by businessmen Sergey Lomakin and Artem Khachatryan, also sells low-cost goods online.

The Fix Price founders, plus minority investors Goldman Sachs and Marathon Group, will reportedly sell shares in the IPO. Lomakin and Khachatryan are expected to retain control of the company.

In 2020, the company’s revenue amounted to 190 billion rubles ($2.6 billion), marking a 33-percent growth, along with double-digit EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) margins, according to CEO Dmitry Kirsanov. Meanwhile, its like-for-like sales have grown at double-digit rates every quarter for 16 consecutive quarters.

“With a presence in 78 of Russia’s 85 regions, as well as neighboring countries, and a strong track record of results in our home market, Fix Price is well positioned to pursue expansion both inside and outside of Russia,” Kirsanov said, as cited by Reuters.

The Covid-19 pandemic boosted the customer traffic of the already popular chain, since the spending power of many Russians has dropped significantly during the crisis.

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