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Ulmart and the Benefits of Hybrid Shopping

Published: August 14, 2013 (Issue # 1773)



  • Terminals at the new Ulmart store make choosing from the 40,000 items on offer quick and easy.
    Photo: Alexei Moskin

  • The new Ulmart store was built to original plans in less than a year.
    Photo: Alexei Moskin

  • A children's area offers tablets with educational games to keep the kids occupied and engaged.
    Photo: Alexei Moskin

  • With over 500 square meters of floorspace, the new Ulmart store looks unlike any other electronics retailer in St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Alexei Moskin

If you are ever in need of a new computer at 1 a.m. or if the tea kettle breaks down before breakfast, Ulmart is the only place to head. Open 24 hours a day, the electronics superstore is a one-stop destination for anything that runs off electricity.

Ulmart, which is one of the largest electronics retailers in Russia, opened its 30th cyber market in the north of St. Petersburg on Aug. 17. The new store, which measures a whopping 6,000 square meters, is the first that the company built from its own, original plans. Taking less than a year to complete, the store is pushing a new concept in hybrid online/offline shopping.

Unlike most electronic retailers, where row upon row of goods sit displayed on shelves and inside showcases, Ulmart is sleek and ultramodern with the goods sitting in a 4,000 square meter warehouse containing 40,000 different items attached to the selling floor, representing on of the largest selections in the city. The warehouse, for example, contains a choice of over 1,000 laptops alone.

Setting the store apart from the competition even further is the unique way in which the floor space that used to be taken up by product has been divided. The new shop has 65 terminals and is able to serve up to 5,000 customers per day. The sales floor is filled with oversized state-of-the-art touch screens and computer stations. A virtual display case allows customers to view merchandise by simply waving their hands in front of a screen.

The set-up will be familiar to anyone who has ever bought anything online but even for those trying this type of retail for the first time will have no difficulty orienting themselves to the new system with the help of a team of hostesses who are always on hand to help customers.

The store is divided into different zones. In addition to the terminals where customers can browse and choose their purchases, there are different zones for each step of the process that are clearly marked. Once a purchase is made, clients proceed to the payment zone where Ulmart accepts cash and credit cards. Customers who place their orders online are also able to use Yandex.money to complete their purchases.

Customers looking to make a purchase that may be bigger than their current bank balance stretches, a selection of banks is on hand to offer credit. The credit desks are staffed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. making that impulsive purchase all the more difficult to resist. Credit can even be applied for through the companys website and purchases either delivered or collected from the main shops or a number of outpost located around the city.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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