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Strawberry and politics in Russia

Strawberry and politics in Russia

The season of strawberry has started in Moscow region, but it is still uncertain whether the consumers will enjoy local berries. As in often happens in Russia, political reasons might interfere the sales of strawberry in Moscow.

The authorities of Moscow region has not still issued the permission for Sovkhoz Lenina, one of the largest strawberry producers in Moscow region, to sales its crop. The head of the company, Pavel Grudinin, former President Elections candidate, stated to Echo Moskvy news agency that the reason might be the refuse of his party, KPRF, to support amendments to Russian Constitution.

Another assumption is the hostile takeover of the successful company. In either cases, it is the end consumers and the employees of the Sovkhoz who will have to pay…

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X5 Group reports five-fold increase in online sales

X5 Group reports five-fold increase in online sales
© X5 Group

 

Russian retail giant X5 reports a 470% increase in online sales in the space of one year. Total revenue in the year up to April 2020 amounted to €21.3 million, making the X5 Retail Group the number-one online grocery delivery company in Russia, according to Retail News. In April 2020, online sales represented 2% of X5’s turnover in Moscow, the Moscow region and St Petersburg, where online services are available. At the end of the month, X5 was delivering more than 23,000 orders per day, with the number continuing to grow.

X5’s CEO, Igor Shekhterman, said, “During the quarantine designed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Russia and introduced for the period from March 21 to on May 11, our consumers more than ever need safe ways to get food to feed their households without having to visit a store. In the largest cities where we operate, we at X5 have been able to offer our fellow citizens two convenient ways to meet this demand: first by stocking up via our online supermarket (in Moscow, the Moscow region and St Petersburg), which offers a wide assortment of food, household goods, personal hygiene products, children’s goods and pet supplies; second with express delivery from a nearby Pyaterochka store (176 outlets in Moscow and Kazan), with deliveries completed in 1.5-2 hours based on the assortment of our standard proximity store.”

Since 2017, X5 Retail Group has been investing in expanding infrastructure for its online platforms, including the commissioning of four dark stores, a fleet of 283 delivery trucks, as well as the IT infrastructure and user interfaces for online operations. The group’s plans for 2020 include launching Perekrestok.ru in Nizhny Novgorod in the summer, based on an innovative solution of transforming a former Karusel hypermarket into a dark store. This will be Russia’s first fully fledged online food retail platform boasting a wide product range, including fresh produce, offered in regional markets outside Moscow and St Petersburg. By the end of 2020, X5 plans to scale up its express delivery service while continuing to refine the efficiency of business processes in order to increase market share in this segment and to achieve break-even sooner. In addition, X5 plans to launch express delivery from Perekrestok stores using the new Perekrestok.Bystro mobile app.

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New challenges, new opportunities

New challenges, new opportunities, © Azbuka Vkusa
© Azbuka Vkusa

 

Almost all the wold currently overcomes a most complicated period caused by the rapid spread of the contagious disease. Economic recession and confinement influence negatively the sales at consumer markets. Russia was not spared of the crisis. For instance, the sales shrank by 40% in good hypermarkets, by 30% in supermarkets and by 15 % in convenience shops during two last months.

How do the retailers cope with the circumstances? Denis Sologub, President of Azbuka Vkusa premium class stores, spoke on air of Channel24 program. “Since the beginning of the confinement, the daily traffic has decreased, but online sales have swollen manifold at the same time,” he said. “Moreover, we hope that the tendency to order online will keep on from now on, as new consumers have being  accustomed to this convenient way of shopping. We also launched an innovative means of sales: we installed a fridge in a large apartments mansion -a kind of vending machine with a range of food products, and our clients can buy foodstuff without leaving the house.” With this approach, the retailer not just overcome the challenges, but sees into the future.

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Russia’s X5 retail group records faster revenue growth in Q1 2020

Russia’s biggest food retailer, X5 Retail Group, expects revenue growth to rise in the first quarter of 2020 compared with a year earlier due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.

The company reported a 13.2% rise in revenue in 2019 to 1.7 trillion roubles (US $22.5 billion).

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Russia to temporarily remove ban on imports of basic goods

Russia has temporarily lifted the ban on imports of basic goods. The measure announced by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin took effect on Friday 19th March and will last a month. “From tomorrow all restrictions on supplies of essential goods, including customs restrictions will be lifted for one month. We are introducing a green route for importers and large retail chains. A zero customs duty rate is set for the import of a number of goods, including medicines and medical devices,” said Mishustin, who underlined the importance of Russian industries increasing and accelerating the production of medical devices, which are now in high demand. 

Mishustin noted that the coronavirus pandemic has already had a serious impact on the export of goods and services. There are also a number of barriers in the domestic market. Speaking about the development of agricultural sector, the Prime Minister stressed the need to raise the income levels of rural residents. 

The Prime Minister stated that Russia has enough foodstuffs and the authorities will do everything to ensure that stores do not have empty shelves. “Many European countries now see feverish demand for food because of the spread of coronavirus infection. We have enough food products, we will continue to do everything so that our people can buy fresh products – bread, milk, meat – and the shops do not have empty shelves,” he said.

However, the European agricultural sector is uncertain what to make of the Russian government’s announcement. Meeuwes Brouwer of the Agriculture Council in Russia said, “We are currently verifying the news. The news published by Itar-TASS comes from a speech last week by the new Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. This speech was translated by the news agency. We are now investigating whether this translation has been placed in the right context. There is doubt about the term ‘essential goods’.”

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Russian retailers discussed the current state of affairs and steps to undertake

Russian retailers discussed the current state of affairs and steps to undertake

Since this week, the state of self-isolation is imposed to the residents of Moscow and Moscow region. Local authorities believe that this measure will prevent further spread of Covid-19.

B2B Conference Group (BBCG), the leading organiser of business summits, Academy of Retail and RBK.Pro organised an imperative meeting of retail CEO and experts with the aim to clarify the issues related to Covid-19 situation. The summit was held as on-line conference. The speakers, among others, were E. Konnova, head of corporative communications of Х5 Retail Group; D. Sologub, president of Azbuka Vkusa chain; S. Korolev, co-founder of healthy food delivery service JustFood; G. Kunis, co-founder and general manager of food delivery service iGooods; and S. Egorov, purchase director for food category of Selgros chain. The participants of the conference named the following predominant tends:

  • Home cooking;
  • Income decline;
  • E-commerce became one of the important employer;
  • Healthy lifestyle is no more a niche segment; it developed into the basic need. People happen to concern more about their health and food safety. 
  • Boost of the demand of local products.

The following measures were offered to food business as kind of remedy:

  • Changing of HORECA assortment, dark kitchen format extension;
  • Introduction of courses for consumers such as cook at home, healthy food, anti-stress;
  • Formation of “public logistic” sense through the in-store slogan “Take away for your elderly neighbours”;
  • Sharing of services between restaurants and delivery services, etc.

BBCG is going to have regular on-line meetings in order to follow the changing circumstances; to survive and to overcome the crisis, the businesses are to be most flexible.

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Russian retailers take preventive measures against Covid-19

Russian retailers take preventive measures against COIVD-19

Lenta, the 4th largest Russian food retailer, installs protective screens

To protect their cashiers, Lenta, N4 Russian food retailer, is being installing plastic screens. The work has been completed in all 249 retailer’s hypermarkets, and will be completed in its 131 supermarkets by the end of March. It is one among other measures taken by the retailer: the improvement of ventilation systems work, more frequent cleaning of the premises, temperature control for stuff and the installation of disinfection units in every store.

Magnit sends its staff to remote work

Magnit, the second largest Russian food retailer, is going to send half of their office staff for the remote work, in the first place, pregnant women and 50 years old and more employees. Those who cannot work remotely will communicate with all third partners by phone. Total staff of Magnit by the end of 2019 was 308,000, including 50,000 of office workers.

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Russian growers of berries will discuss the berry market outlook at Berries of Russia conference

Bilberries - Russian growers of berries will discuss the berry market outlook at Berries of Russia conference

The 3rd International Conference «Berries of Russia 2020» will be organized by the Russian Berry Union and FruitNews Information Agency on February 27–28, 2020 in Kazan.

The participants are berries breeders and growers, the representatives of nurseries and transform industry, the manufacturers of plant protection and hothouses equipment, traders and retailers, scientific and educational institutions. They will share their opinions and suggestions, evaluate berries production and market outlook, find out the news concerning technologies, berries varieties, etc.

Berries Union joins berries growers and processors and aims to stimulate the development of Russian berries industry, the increase of berries offer and quality improvement.

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Russia imposes temporary ban on Chinese citrus imports

Russia imposes temporary ban on Chinese citrus imports

 

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has announced a temporary ban on imports of citrus from China, following the detection of harmful organisms in shipments, according to Russia Business Today. An initial warning was made in December, but the measure became effective as of January 6. According to the announcement on the official Rosselkhoznadzor website, Russia will temporarily restrict citrus imports from China until effective measures are implemented to comply with Russian standards regarding the safety of imported food.

Last year, after interceptions of Chinese stone fruits and pip fruits containing harmful organisms like the Oriental fruit fly, Russia suspended the import of many fruits from China, such as plums, nectarines, apricots, peaches, cherries, apples and pears. China responded by inviting Russia to audit its agricultural inspection and quarantine control systems. However, Russia declared that it was not satisfied with the results of the audit.

 

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Gulf and Russia record rises in citrus imports

Gulf and Russia record rises in citrus imports

 

Taking the Gulf market as a whole, citrus consumption climbed steadily between 2012 and 2016 (from 1.6 million tons to 1.9 million tons), before dropping off slightly in 2017 (1.68 million tons). The main suppliers of fresh citrus to the Gulf in 2017 were Egypt (525,000 tons), South Africa (430,000 tons), Turkey (120,000 tons), Pakistan (110,000 tons), Lebanon (47,000 tons) and Spain (43,000 tons).

Russia’s fresh citrus market consisted of 3.9 million tons of fruit in 2017. The category is divided between oranges (37%), satsumas (30%), lemons (14%), clementines (12%) and grapefruit (7%). The country’s citrus imports climbed steadily between 2004 and 2013 (from 0.82 to 1.68 million tons), before falling off slightly. The major supplier of citrus to the Russian market is Turkey (38%), followed by Egypt (16%), Morocco (15%), South Africa (9%) and China (8%).