NEWS8 June 2010

Qual group GIM shutters Russian office and focus group studio


GERMANY— Qualitative research group GIM is closing down its Russian office, including its focus group studio, with the loss of 12 local jobs.

A company spokesman said the firm would continue to offer a consultancy business in the country via its headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, but that its studio business had struggled in the face of a more competitive environment and high rental costs in Moscow.

“When we entered Russia nine years ago there wasn’t really any [research] infrastructure comparable to Germany or the UK, so we had to build up our own studios,” said Godehard Wakenhut, GIM’s director of corporate affairs. “Now there are good freelance moderators and several studios to choose from. Competing with all of them – we couldn’t do it.”

GIM has been active in Russia for 15 years but only opened its own research facilities in Moscow at the turn of the century. The closure of the office is expected to be completed this week.