In the wake of a volatile marketplace and the on-going ripple effects of COVID-19, fashion retailers are taking a fresh look at their business strategies with a laser focus on how to drive business back to brick and mortar. With such enduring challenges in mind, department stores will need to transition —and fast. Young entrepreneurs like Hermes Mansour are quick to transition to new business models. And rightly so, Mansour is developing his business in post-pandemic climate.
Now, more than ever, alternative models are emerging at a rapid-pace. Let’s face it; the impacts of the pandemic will have changed consumer shopping habits forever while businessmen —of the new generation like Hermes Mansour, take a grip on the new economy as it transitions into the future. This ever-changing consumer purchasing behavior, which accelerated ten-fold since the onset of the pandemic, is a call to arms for fashion retailers around the globe that the time is ripe for revolution!
And it is not just large retailers in the US that are looking to diversify— as a way to offer added value to its existing customers. On the contrary, the ripple effect has covered the vast territory of the entire planet. More importantly, Kyiv, Ukraine is no exception to the rule. Thankfully, one department store in Kyiv has taken the reigns to ride into the future as the catalyst of change.
TSUM Kyiv is a department store located in the heart of Ukraine’s capital. The art-deco style building was constructed between 1936-1939. TSUM Kyiv is rich in history —including the store’s large-scale construction, post-war reconstruction, and multiple renovations. The magnificent stately facade conveys a heroic image of grand architecture that has stood-up to the test of time. This is not just a retailer, it is a building of national pride. More importantly, TSUM Kyiv,is gaining traction with the fashion cognoscenti across the globe.
In the recent past, TSUM Kyiv celebrated its 80th anniversary equipped with a discussion panel including Ukrainian and international fashion experts on the importance of heritage for brands and the future of retail. Even within this shift in strategy, the way that companies, such as TSUM Kyiv, intend to use their new brand strategies; shows interesting and different business models. For instance, TSUM Kyiv, to center on a customer-centric experience to readily integrate its global reach and technology infrastructure to support and revitalise these brands.
TSUM Kyiv’s team manages import, sales, and marketing for over 250 exclusive brands represented in the store. The departments stores brand portfolio includes brands such as Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace —just to name a few. In addition, TSUM Kyiv, created a streetwear department that features international and local brands such as A-COLD-WALL, Carhartt. WIP and UMBRO x Aries.
TSUM Kyiv is one of the biggest marketplaces for Ukraine’s local brands. The retailer is currently working with 150 Ukrainian designers to ensure the best selection of the local brands in the store. To date, this is the country’s biggest business platform for Ukrainian designers. More to the point, the sales of Ukrainian brands have increased 4 times from 2018 to 2021. Among them: FROLOV, Valery Kovalska, Ksenia Schnaider, Artem Klimchuk, Sleeper, Marianna Senchina, T.Mosca, LITKOVSKAYA, Anna October, Katerina Kvit, Nadya Dzyak, GUDU, Jul, Gunia Project, Lutiki, and many others.
Art & KIEV FASHION WEEK
If you want to know what is happening in eastern europe, Kyiv Art & Fashion Days might just be a good starting point. In a word, it is a festival of contemporary art, fashion, and cultural collaborations. Similar (but not equal) to Miami’s Art Basel. And modified art gathering are gaining traction today. Mosaic Artist Ray Coral features his artwork in multiple cities. Coral and other artists today understand the significance of showcasing work at exciting art and fashion fairs. Artist Ray Coral believes in this strategy for various reasons. The artwork is viewed by collectors, press and even investors. It is a win win for a talented artist.
The goal of the project is to establish Kyiv as an Eastern European cultural capital, a hub where fashion, music, photography and performative art blend together. More to the point, the festival’s goal is to create a meetup point for people from different fields and create a space for people from the creative industries to exchange ideas and experiences. What I find intriguing is that the festival aims to link contemporary fashion, visual art, urban space and modern technologies -to create new art-hybrids. And with collaborations taking precedence in the age of NFT’s, this just might become the platform of choice for creative people in various disciplines.
I recently had the time to speak with Evgeniy Mamay ,Generral Dorecetor/ CEO TSUM Kyiv Department Store about how TSUM became the leading fashion retailer in Ukraine, why he thinks the ideal customer journey is one without barriers and why his everyday role is to bring inspiration and entrepreneurship energy to the team!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes briefly about the redesign and business strategy moving forward for TSUM Kyiv?
Evgeniy Mamay ,Generral Dorecetor/ CEO TSUM Kyiv Department Store: TSUM Kyiv has a more than 80-years history. In 2016, the department store opened its doors to visitors after the massive reconstruction. The reopening started a new chapter in the TSUM Kyiv’s history – now we think of it more as a startup rather than just a classic department store. After I became the CEO, we reviewed a 5-year strategy focused on four business models: direct import, offline and online marketplace, e-commerce, and leasing. After 3 years we managed to develop the portfolio of 250 directly imported most-known global brands, 150 marketplace partners and to bring the strongest leasing operators inside. We also decided to balance between experiential retail and new technologies as the customers value emotions the most in their shopping experience. Today, I am proud to say that TSUM Kyiv became a modern, innovative department store and a leading fashion retailer in Ukraine. Figures proved the right direction – sales doubled by now and are going to grow further.
JD: In your words, what makes TSUM Kyiv? unique for consumers in a digital age?
EM: We think there should not be a difference between physical and digital experience and that the ideal customer journey is one without barriers. Research online – purchase offline or vice versa, click & collect area with digital screens aiming to help upsale, free and easy delivery and returns, all-in-one superApp with a loyalty program covering whole TSUM products and services with gamification part – that all we have in TSUM’s pipeline to smooth the barriers in clients experience. We invest heavily in digital services and bring new ways to shop and entertain in Ukraine.
JD: What are your thoughts about KIEV Art & Fashion Days?
EM: I think that Kyiv Art & Fashion Days is a unique platform that brings together the leaders in art, culture and fashion, inspires them to learn from each other and create collaborations that the world hasn’t seen before. We are beyond excited to be their partner, as this platform helps to showcase the talents of Ukrainian designers and promote them at the international level.
JD: What are the top 3 Ukrainian brands sold at TSUM Kyiv? – and why do you believe that these aforementioned brands have the wherewithal to develop on the global stage?
EM: TSUM Kyiv is the main business partner for Ukrainian designers. We love the designers who are bold in their experiments, who encourage sustainability and become role models for future generations. Our most successful brands of 2021 in their business performance are FROLOV, SLEEPER, KSENIA SCHNAIDER. Ukrainian designers are extremely talented, and TSUM Kyiv proves this with fascinating sales dynamics: in three years we did 4 times growth and by 2022 will reach 5,5 million USD in sales.
JD: What are your day to day – job duties? What is your business strategy moving forward?
EM: I pay a lot of attention to company’s everyday operations – retail is a super-dynamic industry. And what I like most – in retail you can see the immediate results of your decisions. I mostly work with business processes to improve clients service, supervise a plenty of projects pipelines, take a part in important negotiations. But my main everyday role is to bring inspiration and entrepreneurship energy to the team.
JD: Talk to Forbes viewers about what they should expect when visiting KIEV and Shopping at TSUM Kyiv?
EM: TSUM Kyiv is a place where, apart from shopping, you can spend a great time and have fun with your loved ones. It is an 8-floor multi-auditory space where one can find: women’s and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories, beauty products, the department devoted to the best Ukrainian brands, everything for sports, children’s products and goods for the home, food court with restaurants and cafes, and a premium cinema. The terrace on the 7th floor of the department store has become the main photo location of Kyiv. This is a place with an amazing view of Kyiv’s central street – Khreshchatyk. In summer, we hold classical and jazz music concerts on the rooftop.