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Barrus Projects at the Retail in Russia conference organised by Vedomosti, the leading business newspaper in Russia

2020 has become a year of numerous challenges for Russian retail. Economic turbulence has been compounded by the coronavirus-related shocks. These events have shown that retailers must respond as quickly as possible to changes, building their activities like a Lego: strengthening, if necessary, some positions and transforming others.

At the Vedomosti conference, the leaders of the retail industry shared their best practice cases of how to live and work in an era of constant change, how to transform a business and attract consumers, meanwhile satisfying their changing needs.

Almost all retailers shared the opinion that during the crisis caused by the pandemic, the demand for expensive goods such as appliances, jewelry, gourmet food and elite alcohol has grown. The argument was that during the pandemic buyers preferred to spend money in order to sustain their comfortable lifestyle.

In addition, most companies did not develop their own logistics services, but began cooperation with marketplaces such as Yandex, SberMarket, OZON and others. The M.Video network, on the other hand, has adopted the one retail concept as the basis of its work. During the pandemic, the company fought for every ruble of sales, using several formats: a full-fledged store, an order pickup point, a pop up store (the outlet was moved outside the store), a dark store, as well as issuing orders to customers in a parking lot. This allowed, despite the quarantine restrictions, to increase revenue by 8% in the first half of the year and show a brilliant result in EBITDA (+ 20%) and net profit (+ 44%).