Number one investor: Epicenter invests billions in commercial properties

Number one investor: Epicenter invests billions in commercial properties

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Ukrainian businesses continue to work against the background of a full-scale war, but not all are ready to reinvest all their profits. Why is “Epicentr” betting on unprecedented investments in the economy and building new-format shopping facilities throughout Ukraine?

Ukraine still remains a high-risk country on the business map of the world. It must be recognized that access to the international capital market will be closed to us exactly as long as the war continues.

And aid from the largest international donor – the USA – is increasingly being called into question against the background of political battles in this country.

A bloodless economy cannot support the army or future generations. Only an internal investor can be a strategic investor.

Only he takes full responsibility for the development of the country, the founder of the company “Epicentr” Oleksandr Gerega recently said in an interview.

Because it is the Ukrainian business, investing funds, that does not take them abroad, but reinvests them again in new projects, the entrepreneur is convinced.

“I dream that our country will be strong, independent and no one will encroach on us. I want Ukrainians to understand that nowhere in the world awaits us as in the Motherland”, – emphasized the founder of the largest national network of shopping centers, calling on Ukrainians to work and invest in Ukraine.

The investment plan of the “Epicenter K” group of companies provides for the development and construction of projects in the fields of retail, production, agro-industry, logistics and e-commerce for a total amount of UAH 120-150 billion by 2030.

To date, this is the largest publicly announced investment in the retail sector in the country.

Epicenter plans to build 8 state-of-the-art shopping and entertainment centers and about 50 conventional shopping centers of various formats by 2030.

The total area of ​​the network will almost double and exceed 4 million square meters. m, and the number of employees of the retail network will increase by more than 50%. In addition, thousands of additional jobs will be created by the tenants of the Epicenter shopping and entertainment centers.

In addition, the company plans to open more than 1,000 Order Delivery Centers across the country. The company is going to pay special attention to improving services and accessibility in all regions of Ukraine.

“The retail market is a mirror of the economy – because only here are the important factors of the purchasing power and purchasing mood of the population combined. The first three months of the war were a shock, but in the future it was the retail market that showed signs of stability,” Roman Yemets, CEO of Smart Urban Solutions, is convinced.

Despite all the difficulties, the retail industry remains one of the main sources of budget revenues. Even before the start of the large-scale invasion in 2021, retail trade ranked 4th in the economy in terms of turnover.

In 2022, the industry paid more than UAH 90 billion in taxes to the budgets of all levels (*data from the State Tax Service). It is also one of the largest employers, providing income for hundreds of thousands of workers and millions of their families.

For example: 92 leading chains (17,000 stores), which are members of the Association of Retailers of Ukraine, had almost 426,000 employees at the end of December 2022, and these numbers are much higher nationwide.

“Today, retail participants invest first of all in rebuilding their own business, expanding networks, developing modern ways of doing business,” says Andriy Zhuk, co-founder and chairman of the Association of Retailers of Ukraine.

According to the Association, the non-food retail sector has fully recovered and even showed a growth of 10%. In 10 months of 2023, 698 outlets opened their doors, which is more than twice the number of food stores that have been put into operation.

In particular, the growth was due to the expansion of the Aurora store network. Investors plan to invest about $250 million in the young, dynamically growing Ukrainian chain of Aurora stores, giving a positive signal to the market. Another example – the EVA store line plans to open 60 new stores this year, investing 200 million hryvnias.

“The Epicenter company actively invests in various retail segments, from large-scale shopping and entertainment centers of an ultra-modern format to small stores near the home with order centers,” says Petro Mykhailyshyn, CEO of the “Epicenter K” group of companies.

– These are ambitious plans, but they are based on our faith in the development of Ukraine, the return of people and the restoration of purchasing power. We strive to show by our example that the focus of conscious business during the war should not be the accumulation of capital, but the development of a strong and prosperous country.”



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