Russia’s largest online retailer Wildberries launched in Europe

Russia’s largest online retailer Wildberries entered the European market. The company of Forbes list member Tatyana Bakalchuk launched online store in Poland

Russian online retailer Wildberries, founded by a member of the Forbes list Tatiana Bakalchuk 39 , has launched sales in Poland, said the press service of the company. This is the sixth country in which Wildberries operates, and the first in Europe.

European customers will be able to order products from the online store, which works in Polish and English. Now there are more than 13,500 brands, including women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and shoes, as well as toys and accessories. Customers can pick up items by courier or at pickup locations. Goods that do not fit them can be returned for free. In total, about 100 Wildberries pickup points will open in Poland.

In the future, the online store plans to offer customers more products from Russia and other countries. “The Russian manufacturers with whom we cooperate have gained access to a major new market through Wildberries,” said Wildberries Development Director Vyacheslav Ivashchenko.

The plans of Wildberries to start the European expansion became known last spring thanks to the leak: at the end of February on the portal of small and medium business of the Kirov region the reference book for registration on the site of Wildberries suppliers was posted. In particular, the document stated that the company “allows enterprises… to enter international markets (at the moment these are EAEU countries and Poland).

Wildberries then denied rumors about the impending entry into the European market, but a source close to the retailer told Forbes that the information was leaked after an internal mailing of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the base of potential suppliers, which the company wanted to attract to cooperation. He said that there was no clear decision on entering a specific market and Poland was only one of the options.

In September 2019 it was reported that Wildberries may start entering the European market not from Poland but from Slovakia. Then Tatiana Bakalchuk and the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov reported that the online retailer plans to build a 300,000-square-meter logistics center there.

Bakalchuk said at the time that the company was considering Eastern European countries to start in Europe because the mentality there is close to that of Russia, but then a proposal came from Slovakia. “We went to Slovakia, met with the deputy minister for finance there, with the trade mission, held several meetings, looked at. We also met with the customs authorities. If all the agreements are fulfilled, we are planning to build 300 000 square meters there within 5 years and plan to make it a central hub, which will operate in Europe”, – told the founder of Wildberries. According to her estimates, the turnover of this hub can reach 200 billion rubles within five years.