04.11.2015 - H&M will open online store in Russia
According to The Moscow Times, Swedish clothing brand H&M said it would launch an online store in Russia this fall to boost already rising sales in the country.
In a report of its results over the first 9 months of this year, Stockholm-based H&M said year-on-year sales in Russia had risen by 15 percent to 2.6 billion Swedish krona ($312 million). In ruble terms, sales increased 56 percent during the period. The Russian currency has weakened sharply over the past year, making imported goods more costly in rubles.
H&M, which specializes in cheap clothing, is scooping up business as Russians are forced to reign in spending by a recession that has seen real incomes fall sharply. Inflation was running at 15.8 percent in August, far higher than wage growth, leading to a decrease in retail sales across Russia of more than 9 percent compared to the same month in 2014.
H&M said in the report it had opened 15 new stores in Russia since the beginning of the year, taking the total to 86 stores spread across the country. It said it planned to open online stores in Russia and Switzerland this fall. H&M's online shops are currently available in 21 countries.
The company first set up shop in Russia in 2009.
17.10.2015 - Mobile operator Tele2 will launch in Moscow
According to The Moscow Times, Tele2, a mobile telecom provider already present in more than 60 Russian regions, is finally set to join Russia’s “Big Three” operators in Moscow and the Moscow region next month, the company said in a statement Friday.
Tele2 will compete from Oct. 22 with MegaFon, MTS and VimpelCom (which operates under the brand name Beeline) on a market that is already over-saturated: There are 2.17 active SIM cards per resident of Russia's capital, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.
The mobile operator didn't disclose prices for its service but said it would offer low tariffs with no hidden charges, according to the statement.
Tele2, a Swedish company that entered the Russian market in 2003, is run here by T2 RTK Holding after the Swedish owners sold Tele2's Russian subdivision to VTB Group in 2013.
To enter the Moscow market, Tele2 received a preferential loan of 16 billion rubles ($235 million) in February this year from one of its shareholders, Russia's second biggest bank VTB, Tele2 spokesman Konstantin Prokshin told the RBC newspaper Friday.
The company has also invested in the development of 3G and 4G mobile networks in Moscow, he said.
Tele2 will launch only 3G and 4G networks in Moscow, meaning its services can only be used by the owners of smartphones, who currently account for 63 percent of cell phone users in Moscow, according to RBC, citing data from Synovate Comcon market research company.
According to experts polled by RBC, Tele2 can expect to attract up to 10 percent of Moscow's cellphone users within a year.
The management of T2 RTK Holding expects the telecom provider to become the third most popular network in Russia by 2018, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Tele2 in Russia as a Swedish company. In fact, Swedish Tele2 sold its Russian subdivision to Russia's VTB Group in 2013.
15.10.2015 - Growing sales in Russia for IKEA
IKEA, the world's biggest furniture retailer has reported growing sales in nearly all its markets, including Russia, The Moscow Times reports.
The retailer reported on Thursday an 11 percent increase in fiscal full-year sales to a record 31.9 billion euros ($35.8 billion).
The Swedish company, known for its flat-pack self-assembly budget furniture, said comparable stores accounted for 5 percent of sales growth in its fiscal year that runs through August.
IKEA Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide and has the bulk of its business in Europe, said sales grew in nearly all its markets, with China the fastest-growing followed by Russia.
Germany showed record growth and North America performed well, while southern Europe showed positive progress, it said in a statement.
Through a number of deals in the year, IKEA Group became the sole owner of shopping centers previously co-owned.