Gorchakov Group

 

Gorchakov Group (GG) is the largest corporate actor on the Russian greeting card wholesale market, a holding company producing greeting products (that is, greeting cards sensu stricto, invitations, wedding cards, envelopes, etc.), party and holiday goods, various other celebration products and accessories, school products, children’s developmental products, wedding accessories, souvenirs, and other emotional/social expression products (ESEP) and educational merchandise. GG has been on the greeting card and festive product market(s) for more than 19 years and during all these years our corporate community has been on the front line of efforts to produce and sell top-quality products in both this country and throughout much of the fUSSR.

 

The major brands of Gorchakov Group such as Mir Posdravleniy (World of Greetings, WG), Imperiya Pozdravleniy (Empire of Greetings, EG), Otkrytaya Planeta (Open Planet, OP), and Chorosho (Doing Well, DW) are well known and popular on the national market. Most of these brands are individual legal entities; they specialize in dealing with different segments of the greeting card market, address varied consumer needs, elaborate their own unique stylies, and, apart from everyday and seasonal greeting cards (which still form the bulk of GG production), develop their own unique sets of festive, decorative, educational, and other emotional and social expression products. All but the latter CMC were initiated as the classic greeting card companies with the main focus on designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling greeting cards and their accessories (invitations, wedding cards, envelopes, a bit later – award charters). Soon, however, our CMCs began to diversify their product lines by adding increasingly varied assortments of other (that is, non-greeting card) ESEP; now these may cumulatively make up 40-60% of some GG companies’ monthly sales. EG and OP shifted their focus to non-gc products and specific types of greeting cards such as those discussed below (see the descriptions of individual CMCs). Merchandise Mark Chorosho (DW), on the other hand, was from the very beginning designed as a company specialized in the production of souvenirs, as well as social and emotional products other than greeting cards and their accessories. MMDW has been developing its business along these lines ever since.

 

Gorchakov Group is shaping its product lines and price policy while keeping in mind the possibilities and interests of different social strata and age groups, varied regional, urban and ethnic segments of Russia’s diverse population. This helps keep our products in high demand in all regions of Russia and throughout much of CIS, especially in Ukraine, Republic of Belorus, and Kazakhstan. The successful development of all the companies of the Group, propelled by the well-designed road map of the corporate growth and diversification, breakthrough organizational revolution (2010) and neat financial management, allowed our corporate community to become an absolute leader on the national wholesale greeting card market. Today every third greeting card, produced and sold in Russia and CIS, is created by the companies of our Group.

 

Despite the increasing share of non-gc products, our product matrix’s core is still dominated by (1) greeting cards which come in all possible sizes, formats, and styles; they cover a vast variety of topics and are performed with the use of the various methods of finishing, decorating, and refinement. As stated above, we also produce accompanying goods, such as envelopes, many of which are quite intricately designed and colorfully decorated. The additional important product lines are (2) party, holiday and celebration goods such as posters, garlands, stickers, party/birthday and other celebration sets, as well as various other decorations and embellishments suitable for permanent exposure or specific occasions; (3) school products; (4) developmental products for children and teenagers; (5) wedding accessories (categories 2-5 of the abovementioned merchandise are made with the use of different equipment, techniques, and materials); as well as (6) various products of largely non-polygraphic nature, including souvenirs and memorabilia, textile items (such as ribbons and aprons), magnets, fun medals, «orders» and other “insignia” of the sort, badges, cups, address folders, etc.

 

Companies of the Group offer vast and colorful holiday and thematic programs such as New Year, 8 March, St. Valentine’s Day, Victory Day or 9 May, wedding, school year, etc. The assortments of the individual companies of the Group are characterized by their own unique styles; they are regularly renewed to introduce new designs, styles and patterns of artwork.

 

Gorchakov Group is a licensee of a variety of national and international cartoon makers. We manufacture children’s products which bear the images of Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Mermaid, Winnie-the-Pooh, etc.), popular Hollywood-propelled personages such as Spiderman, and funny heroes of the Soviet cartoons such as Wolf and Hare from “Just You Wait!”, Tomcat Leopold, Baby the Raccoon, Baby-Mammoth, and others.

 

In 2010, Gorchakov Group became an official licensee of XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi (2014) in the category “printed products”.

 

To meet the needs of its production program, Gorchakov Group has long-term partner relationships with the best printing-houses of Russia, equipped with the most advanced machinery, and more than 30 leading suppliers of various materials and industrial products.

 

The organizational structure of Gorchakov Group currently includes 6 major business units (and 5 legal entities) such as:

 

-         Closed Joint-Stock Company (CJSC) Gorchakov Group proper (started in 2010) is the central company of the Group established with the purpose of implementing the following key competences: (1) strategic management of the Group, (2) internal outsourcing (sales, logistics, IT, financial services), (3) management of the business projects, (4) development and manufacturing of innovative greeting/festive/wedding/inspirational and humorous style products, party and holiday goods, souvenirs, as well as household merchandise with added value of social or emotional nature.

 

-         Merchandise Mark (MM) Chorosho (Doing Well) is de jure a(n) (autonomous) subdivision of GG proper responsible for [#4] activities from the abovementioned list. However, MMDW acts de facto in the same way as the other CMCs of the Group do: in many respects, it’s just another design-producing (that is, “creative”) company of Gorchakov Group with its own budget and production program. Yet it will probably take MMDW few more years to achieve a full financial and administrative independence from Gorchakov Group Management Company.

 

-         CJSC World of Greetings (established in 1995) is the company manufacturing a broad and universal assortment of the greeting products, first of all “conventional” greeting cards with significant addition of party and celebration goods, wedding accessories, school/children’s merchandise, and a variety of other social and emotional expression products; polygraphic products dominate in the overall company’s product matrix but some lines of non-polygraphic nature, for instance, souvenirs, are also occasionally produced. WG is the oldest and largest CMC of the Group; the “World” maintains the largest assortment of greeting cards (within GG) which provides the economic basis for the Group’s well-being and enables other companies of our community to experiment with new ideas, designs, products, and markets.

 

-         Limited Liability Company (LLC) Empire of Greetings (established in 2007) is a company specializing in the manufacture of the international licensed greeting products (for instance, those that bear images created by the Walt Disney Company) which are sold via federal and regional retail networks. Very important and growing part of the EG assortment is made up by non-greeting card products such as party and celebrations goods, masks, decorative posters and stickers, and plastic artworks designed to be attached to the walls, glass, and other surfaces.

 

-         LLC Open Planet (established in 2003) is a company specializing in the manufacture of the greeting, children’s and school products, using popular international licensed brands. On the greeting flank, the OP specialty products are wedding cards and expensive top-quality greeting cards with elaborate designs.

 

-         LLC NPP (established in 2010) is a printing-house equipped with the modern polygraphic machinery and organized mostly for executing industrial orders placed specifically by Gorchakov Group.

 

Besides, we currently develop the regional network of affiliated wholesale and retail companies, which specialize in marketing and selling greeting cards, as well as souvenir, party and holiday products, manufactured by the design-producing companies of Gorchakov Group. We had established six such affiliated companies, which have been successfully selling our products in the cities of Samara, Ufa, Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, and Rostov-on-Don. The companies develop their own regional sales networks within the indicated regions (Samara District, Autonomous Republic of Bashkortostan, Autonomous Republic of Tatarstan, Nizhniy Novgorod District, and Rostov District). Some of them (Nizhniy Novgorod, Rostov) are also in the processes of expanding onto adjacent territories of other districts and autonomous republics; in few years from now, these proactive policies may result in the development of even larger regional distribution networks with unpredictable boundaries. We are currently considering the possibility of establishing two or three additional sales companies in the other regions of the country. These are likely to emerge on their relevant regional markets in 2016-2017.

 

The joint staff of Gorchakov Group totals about 400 people, including more than 70 designers who develop every year more than 14000 new designs of greeting cards and other products.

 

Gorchakov Group is open for the mutually beneficial long-term cooperation with all interested parties for the benefit of the greeting and other social/emotional expression products’ industry and market – and ultimately for the benefit of the people who have enjoyed these products for more than a century in this country and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.