One of Russia’s leading fashion retailers has launched international sales on Amazon, as companies from the region move to expand their online presence.
St. Petersburg-based Melon Fashion Group will now offer apparel under its brand befree on the world’s largest e-commerce platform, according to a company release. Melon Fashion operates four brands, specialising mainly in womens’ clothing – including befree, Zarina, Love Republic and Sela – that are already top sellers in apparel on domestic e-commerce platforms Wildberries and Lamoda.
The company’s share of online revenue reached 30% at the end of 3Q 2021, up from 7% in 2017, according to Melon Fashion CEO Mikhail Urzhumtsev. During the first week of December, befree’s sales on Amazon surpassed total sales for November on the platform, with the largest number of orders coming from such cities as Berlin, Rome, Paris and Milan.
The befree brand aims to promote accessibility and inclusivity, in part through advertising campaigns that feature individuals who have faced difficulties due to their “unconventional” appearance, according to the release. Befree has adopted the slogan “Young Fashion for Any Age” as its motto for 2022.
Melon Fashion, which is reportedly preparing for an IPO, sees its launch on Amazon as a major step in the development of its omnichannel offering. The company currently operates 815 offline stores under its brand names and is developing its own online channels, in addition to partnering with marketplace platforms.
“We see significant potential for further development of our online business both in Russia and in international markets,” Urzhumstev said. “The launch of sales of one of our brands on Amazon is a significant step towards the international expansion of the company and the internationalisation of our brands, as well as a new achievement in the development of our strategic area – the online business.”
Russian companies have expanded their operations abroad amid the pandemic in response to growing demand for online services. NASDAQ-listed tech giant Yandex recently launched its ultrafast grocery delivery in London, building on existing operations in Paris and Tel Aviv. E-commerce platform Wildberries, a major partner of Melon Fashion, has itself launched services in 19 countries, including the US, UK, Germany and France.