Wildberries, the largest Russian e-commerce retailer founded by a former English teacher, to almost double its turnover to $24.7 billion in 2022 despite sanctions
Wildberries, the largest Russian online and e-commerce retailer founded by a former English teacher, is on track to nearly double its revenue despite the ongoing sanctions against Russia. The company plans to double its turnover in 2022, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the company’s finance chief.
“Wildberries plans to reach a turnover of 1.5 trillion roubles ($24.7 billion) this year,” Interfax quoted Vladimir Bakin as saying. The company’s first-half turnover rose 94% year on year to 628.7 billion roubles ($10.3 billion).
The ongoing sanction against Russia has done little to slow the company’s growth. Wildberries’s gross merchandise value (GMV), a measure of transaction volumes and a key industry gauge, jumped 93% to 844 billion roubles in 2021.
As you may remember, we covered Wildberries a little over a year ago after the e-commerce tech startup launched its online retail store in the US market. US customers can place their orders in the separate online store us.wildberries.ru, as well as through mobile applications for iOS and Android. For customers’ convenience, the site and apps are available in English and Russian. The company currently has a presence in 13 countries.
Wildberries was founded in 2004 by Tatyana Bakalchuk at age 28 in her Moscow apartment while on maternity leave from teaching. Tatyana started Wildberries using her savings of $700. It first started out as an online platform reselling clothes from the likes of German mail-order group Otto. Today, Wildberries sells everything from electronics to kitchenware, making the founder Tatyana Bakalchuk Russia’s richest woman.
In 2019, Wildberries was valued at an estimated $1 billion, which made Bakalchuk the second woman in Russia to become a billionaire. In 2020, Forbes magazine reported that she was worth $1.4 billion. As of March 2021, Bakalchuk’s net worth was estimated at $13.1 billion, making her the richest woman in Russia.
Wildberries offers about 5.5 million items from 40,500 brands: women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, footwear and accessories, beauty, toys, electronics, books and stationery, sports goods, and household goods. In the future, the international online retailer will offer its new customers even more different products both at more affordable prices and in the premium segment.
“We are pleased to announce the launch of sales on the world’s largest e-commerce market and are ready to offer our future customers a wide range of products from various suppliers – both unique products from private entrepreneurs and well-known global brands. Our online platform brings together entrepreneurs and retailers from different countries – Russia, Germany, France, Poland, and many others, and we are open to expanding cooperation with American entrepreneurs, including small and medium-sized businesses whose products are already represented in many Wildberries countries,” said Vyacheslav Ivashchenko, Development Director at Wildberries.
Orders will be delivered with the help of logistics partners. Wildberries customers from the US can get their purchases by courier delivery to their homes or office. The US now became the company’s 14th country of presence. In 2021, Wildberries also started sales in Germany, France, and Italy, and in 2020 the large international online retailer entered Poland, Slovakia, Israel, and other countries.
In 2020, Wildberries’ sales outside of Russia increased 95% year-on-year to 23.7 billion rubles. The most popular items among foreign customers were clothing, beauty, books, and shoes.