Salamander has closed two stores in St. Petersburg, which is believed to be a part of a bigger trend as street retail has been seen gradually losing its popularity in Russia. Salamander is traditionally perceived as a premium footwear retailer in Russia, selling shoes from the upper price segment.
Salamander runs 57 stores in Russia, of which 26 are under direct management and 31 are franchises. The company focuses on the biggest Russian cities, as it operates 12 stores in Moscow, four in Novosibirsk, two in Rostov-on-Don, the same number in Yekaterinburg and some other cities. Until recently, Salamander was running seven stores in St. Petersburg, but now only five are left.
Russian analysts believe that Salamander could be making a mistake by opening stores in downtown areas, when most other shoe retailers have been opting for shopping malls. Salamander has been renting expensive places in downtown urban areas that are no longer affordable for footwear retailers, said Vladimir Kalichavy, analyst at Colliers International.
Andrey Pavlov, founder of Zenden, a major Russian major shoe retailer, said that sales have been gradually declining at brick-and-mortar stores, due to the rapid development of online sales. He suggested moving to omni-channel solutions.