Aliastra is a well-run Gallente corporation with a broad interstellar scope across the retail sector. It operates in all empires. While the corporation has not been able to compete domestically with , it has seen moderate success abroad.
The late 228th century saw a period of expansion for the Gallente which included a push into would become the Verge Vendor/Placid border zone. Here, in AD 22776, Aliastra was founded.
With the fortune of being ideally located, and an entrepreneurial spirit that would later become typical of the corporation, Aliastra quickly moved to work with the newly-encountered Intaki. They worked alongside other Gallente interests introducing the local population to the Gallente way of life.
One of the few corporations to focus on recently discovered solar systems, Aliastra benefited greatly during the Intaki's century of expansion into the stars. Aliastra was perfectly placed to establish itself throughout the Intaki colonies from the very start, employing the locals who led the way in selling traditional wares from the frontier to established Gallente systems. Such was their success, Aliastra established its head quarters in the Intaki system.
By the time the Gallente Federation was founded in AD 23121, many Intaki enjoyed positions of influence as directors and executives throughout the corporation. Aliastra was championed by all as an example of Gallente and Intaki cooperation. However, it would be an Intaki influence that would bring about a reversal of Aliastra's fortunes less than 50 years later when the Caldari seceded from the Gallente Federation and the Gallente-Caldari War began.
The Gallente-Caldari War
Though not directly affected by the fighting, Aliastra found itself caught up in the Intaki reaction: a number of their directors and executives were outspoken in advocating for the Caldari, while the few uprisings in Placid drew support from a large proportion of the corporation's Intaki employees, something which did not go unnoticed in the rest of the Federation.
Aliastra suffered greatly during the government's response. A large number of their directors and executives, as well as other employees from across the corporation, were arrested during the course of the war and found themselves amongst the five thousand exiles who would go on to create the Intaki Syndicate.
With so many key employees gone, and suddenly unable to function as it had, Aliastra also began to struggle financially and the decision was made to allow investors to acquire a percentage of the corporation. A full 20% of the shares were taken by the patriotic FedMart who would later become a key factor in Aliastra's market success.
Aliastra was forced to reorganize at every level and pressure from the new shareholders such as FedMart, reflecting the Federation's embarrassment at the actions of what had previously been a favored company, pushed the corporation to relocate its head quarters to the Sinq Laison region, where it exists to this day. Aliastra's old headquarters in the Intaki system were occupied by FedMart as part of the investment package and is now maintained as a storage and distribution hub.
The Empyrean Age
With the arrival of the capsuleer, Aliastra recognized an opportunity to push boundaries. Representatives from the corporation were among the first to contact CONCORD to discuss how they could be involved, echoing their activities with the Intaki centuries earlier.
CONCORD's oversight of capsuleers meant that while pilots could establish and manage their own corporations, CONCORD was nevertheless monitoring their activities. However, there were occasions when capsuleers left one of these organizations without immediately joining another, resulting in a gap in CONCORD's records. CONCORD agreed, for administrative purposes, to arrange for a certain number of "default" corporations to automatically receive these capsuleers, allocated by bloodline as a simple method of identification.
Given its historic links to the Placid region, and still boasting a high number of Intaki employees, the Aliastra delegation to CONCORD successfully put their natural negotiation skills into action, winning the hotly contested tender to be responsible for capsuleers of Intaki heritage. In later years Aliastra would become dubbed "the Intaki megacorporation" amongst capsuleers.
Despite Aliastra's ability to quickly identify opportunity and potential, the corporation has failed to lead in the domestic market. Losing out to its competitor FedMart, it focuses more on trading in the other empires.
FedMart positioned itself well as the model Gallente corporation, marketing its products as "made in the Federation, by the Federation, for the Federation". Riding on the back of recent patriotism fueled by ongoing conflict with the Caldari State, FedMart is extremely popular with consumers just as it was during the first Gallente-Caldari War, when the corporation originally became dominant.
In contrast, the smaller Aliastra's domestic presence focuses primarily on distribution, while the vast majority of their retail operations exist beyond the Federation's borders, as evidenced by the disposition of their stations. Some economic commentators suggest they have made good use of Intaki expatriates, a theory that goes some way to explain, for example, Aliastra's long-running presence within the Intaki Syndicate. Other more cynical observers suggest that FedMart's 20% shareholding goes some way to explain the level of Aliastra's domestic success, and the forced relocation of Aliastra's early head quarters from the Intaki system as evidence of FedMart's influence in the boardroom.
Unlike some of the other major corporations of New Eden, Aliastra doesn't specialise in one commodity or another. Instead it provides a wide range of products and services for its customers as a general retailer. With this wide scope, Aliastra offers a valuable link to home for those citizens living and working outside the Gallente Federation. The corporation has been careful, though, to ensure it's not seen as overtly "Gallente" which it understands can cause friction in some regions. Instead it has been clever to take inspiration from each locale. To some extents this means the Aliastra of Metropolis differs greatly from the Aliastra of Lonetrek.
In the Minmatar Republic, Aliastra's recruitment policies, for example, have resulted in their staff reflecting the communities around them. A high percentage of the Federation's own population is made up of Minmatar immigrants and Aliastra has successfully offered would-be economic migrants the alternative of remaining closer to home while still benefiting from the stability of employment with a Federation corporation. The result of this is that those shopping at the retail centre in Hek are much more likely to be served by Minmatar staff than Gallente or Intaki.
In the Caldari State, Aliastra operates with the knowledge its Federation roots put it at a disadvantage to Caldari corporations who might be the natural patriotic choice in a time of conflict between the two nations. To mitigate this, Aliastra goes to great length to provide for local needs and tastes instead of selling otherwise popular Gallente products which would normally be hard to come by. An example of this policy in practice is the Jin-Mei restaurants in Antainan which cater to the Achurian palate rather than the authentic cuisine of Lirsautton.
The Amarr host more of Aliastra's retail centres than any other empire, so the corporation has gone to great lengths to ensure the products they sell in these locations are acceptable. While corporate policy restricts some items from sale in the Empire, such as genetically modifies food products and wide range of Gallente holoreel series, Aliastra often works with Amarr officials, completing extensive audits to ensure theocratic legislation is adhered to. In the past there have been tensions between Aliastra and law enforcement, as controversial commodities have been due for transit through a particular region but not intended for sale within the Empire.
In mid-YC112, Aliastra experienced first hand the horrors inflicted by Sansha's Nation when their factories in Ation, Sinq Laison were attacked. Previously a growing source of revenue for Aliastra, production was halted when the entire workforce, along with everyone in the surrounding communities, were suddenly abducted.
The close proximity to Aliastra's headquarters, only three jumps away in Alillere, was the cause of great concern for the corporation's directors and executives, lending itself to the growing outcry across New Eden.