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Sber Enters Fashion E-commerce Race With Acquisition of Stockmann Russia

The exterior of a Stockmann store in Moscow.
The exterior of a Stockmann store in Moscow. (Shutterstock)

The partially state-owned business and finance venture Sber, formerly known as Sberbank, has acquired the Russian unit of Finnish department store chain Stockmann from owner Yakov Panchenko.

The transaction, the financial details of which were not disclosed, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022 after a comprehensive investment audit, as well as the awarding of necessary corporate approvals and approval from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia.

Sber said it wants to integrate Stockmann with its e-commerce platform SberMegaMarket into its holdings in order to increase the share of revenue it garners from the fashion segment, which it hopes can be a key growth driver. The fashion is one of the largest categories for Stockmann which also sells homewares among others.

Other platforms, including Yandex.Market, have also announced major investments in fashion e-commerce in recent months, encroaching on the territory of incumbent online fashion players such as Wildberries and Lamoda.ru.

Stockmann was originally founded in 1862 in Helsinki. Today its department stores operate in several European countries. In Russia, Stockmann has 12 physical stores in cites such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Murmansk, stocking more than 600 brands in the medium to premium segments.

Earlier this month, Stockmann confirmed the sale of two of its Baltic department store properties in Tallinn, Estonia, and Riga, Latvia to Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) for €87 million ($97 million), funds the group said it would use to reduce its debt.

Learn more:

How to Capture More of Russia’s E-Commerce Market

With Wildberries racing to become Russia’s answer to Amazon, many brands are turning to devoted fashion platforms like Lamoda.ru and Aizel.ru but the local e-commerce market poses many challenges.

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