Last year, Russian sporting goods retailer Kant saw an improvement in its operational performance, according to Maxim Vinogradov, owner of Kant. “We see an overall decline in sales on the [Russian sporting goods] market, but thanks to the withdrawal of some competitors, those who stayed see their sales and revenue rising,” Vinogradov said, adding that while supply in the market has shrunk, it is not enormous. “Some brands have left, some have stayed, some withdrew but are available. There are also still some leftovers.” In general, Vinogradov said, business is more or less as usual. The Western brands on the shelves are gradually being replaced by Asian and Russian suppliers.

Before Decathlon withdrew from the Russian market, Kant operated several stores in a shop-in-shop format within Decathlon stores. Vinogradov said that of the four stores, two remain in operation. One of them actually did better in 2022 than the previous year, while the other suffered a 20 to 30 percent drop in sales, he explained. “This is a sad story, but definitely not a catastrophe,” Vinogradov said, adding that the company has also taken steps to move one of the closed stores to a new location with cheaper rental costs.

This year, Kant plans to refrain from major retail chain expansion and focus on streamlining its supply chain by setting up new sorting centers and putting more effort into developing the e-commerce segment as sales through Russia’s leading marketplaces continue to show exceptional growth, Vinogradov said.