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AliExpress, Alibaba’s marketplace, adds Russian retailers to boost growth

October 20, 2015 12:33 PM
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(Bloomberg)—Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is adding Russian shops including Wikimart and Incity to its AliExpress marketplace to further boost sales in one of its largest markets outside of China.

Wikimart Ltd., No. 100 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Europe 500 Guide, has more than 1.8 million items in more than 20 categories, including clothing, footwear and household appliances. Incity is a Russian brand operated by Moscow-based OAO Modnyjj Kontinent, which operates as a subsidiary of JSC The Seventh Continent.

AliExpress will let several Russian retailers sell goods on its site and take part in a global sales event on Nov. 11, known as Singles Day, Alibaba said in an emailed statement. The Chinese marketplace had more than 22 million monthly users in Russia, according to researcher TNS.

AliExpress leads the cross-border e-commerce market in Russia, which was worth 65 billion rubles ($1 billion) in the first half, according researcher Data Insight. The domestic market, where Alibaba hasn’t yet been present, was worth more than four times that at 305 billion rubles, the researcher said.

“In choosing partners, we focused on categories of goods that are in demand in Russia, and we highlighted Russian brands and companies that manufacture products in Russia,” Mark Zavadskiy, business development director at AliExpress, said in the statement.

Russians are increasingly turning to Internet shopping to seek best bargains as a recession and weakening ruble have eroded incomes. Chinese sites including AliExpress, JD.com Inc. and others are particularly popular. The volume of e-commerce parcels from China rose 50% in the first half, according to the Russian Post.

AliExpress is Alibaba’s global platform for small and midsized businesses—often Chinese manufacturers—to sell directly to consumers outside of China, and prices are often lower than most other sites. Launched in 2010, AliExpress has been one of the fastest-growing businesses inside of Alibaba, growing its gross merchandise value at an average of 300% every year, according to the company. The online marketplace is particularly popular in Russia and Latin America.

 

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