Russian retailers plan a third Cyber Monday to boost sales amid crisis
January 19, 2015 12:18 PM
(Bloomberg) -- Retailers in Russia, including its largest online store Ulmart and consumer-electronics chains M.video and Metro AG’s Media Markt, will hold a third Cyber Monday event next week with the stakes higher than in the past two years as the economy heads into recession. Ulmart is No. 25 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Europe 500.
At least 50 companies will participate, offering online discounts and promotions, said Russian e-commerce lobby group Akit, which has been organizing the event since 2013.
This year, Cyber Monday may be more important for retailers trying to attract trade. Many Russians brought forward purchases to the end of 2014 as they rushed to convert funds into goods before a weakening ruble further inflated prices. The ruble plummeted 32 percent against the dollar in the fourth quarter as falling prices for oil, Russia’s major export, compounded the effects of U.S. and European sanctions following Vladimir Putin’s incursion in Ukraine.
Other retailers participating in the event include children’s goods chain OAO Detsky Mir and Rocket Internet AG’s online fashion vendor Lamoda (No. 139).
M.video, Russia’s largest electronics retailer, increased fourth-quarter revenue by 52 percent to 70 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) as some customers brought forward purchases, and that may result in lower sales in the first half of this year, according to ZAO Raiffeisenbank. Ulmart also saw a surge in sales in December, the St. Petersburg-based company said last week.
Russia holds Cyber Monday later than in countries such as the U.S. and U.K. because “Russians shop actively until the very end of December, then we have a 10-day holiday, and the end of January is the time to give a boost to sales,” said Uliana Vlasenko, a spokeswoman for Akit.