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Ukrainian outdoor sports chain opens largest store in war-torn city


One of Ukraine’s largest outdoor sports chains has opened its biggest retail outlet in the country’s war-torn capital.

IBIS, which has eight stores in Kyiv and three in the other largest cities of Odesa, Lviv and Dnipro, has risen to the many challenges facing the country by proudly opening its ‘store of the future’ this month with fishing playing a fundamental role in its presence. It occupies most of the second floor and boasts around 20,000 products from more than 400 brands.

In what IBIS describes as ‘very challenging’ times, the new store is the largest project undertaken by the group and has been designed from scratch to build a new identity for the retailer. Olena Druzhynska, IBIS CMO told, Angling International: “It is fundamentally a new approach in terms of lay-out and appearance. It is a modern store that is convenient for our customers.”

“Due to the situation in Ukraine, with constant shelling of our infrastructure, we have also had to think about the smooth operation of the store so there is a powerful industrial generator installed in case of power cuts.

“It is undeniable that Russia’s protracted aggression affects the functioning of the business and we have to constantly adapt to new upcoming challenges.

“These include regular air-raid alarms and shellings, a lack of electricity for up to 12 hours a day, the movement of qualified workers abroad and to the army, a decrease in the purchasing capacity of the population and a lack of time to rest.”

These problems have been compounded by a fishing market that is not going through the best of times. Druzhynska added: “In addition to those challenges regarding the impact of the war, 18% of our territory is occupied and, as a result, many of our partners have been forced to simply close their businesses.

“As well as that, in many regions – especially on the largest river in the country, the Dnipro – fishing from a boat is prohibited.”

Despite the current difficulties, IBIS is continuing to open new stores and also planning to launch an updated website. “We believe that Ukraine will withstand the difficulties and are ready to invest our time and money in it,” added Druzhynska.

Main picture: Evgeniy Sheiko,  Executive Director, IBIS

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