Russians boost e-fashion 55% in 2021 to $4.5bn on Wildberries

Russians boost e-fashion 55% in 2021 to $4.5bn on Wildberries
Russia's largest e-commerce marketplace Wildberries. / bne
By bne IntelliNews February 11, 2022

A record-high RUB336bn ($4.5bn) in fashion goods were sold on Russia's largest e-commerce marketplace Wildberries in 2021, a boost of 55%, the company said in a press release.

As followed by bne IntelliNews, Russian e-commerce continued to expand rapidly in 2021. E-fashion is one of the fastest growing segments, with majors such as Sber (Sberbank) and Yandex strengthening their fashion verticals. Wildberries also competes with Detsky Mir retailer in online sales of children's goods.

According to Wildberries, the growing e-fashion demand in 2021 was underpinned by an increase in shopping frequency and "fast fashion" trend, as well as a recovery in demand for formal business wear due to the return of employees to the office. Sales of blouses rose by 32%, business suits by 30% and ties by 92%. 

Still, in 2021, customers bought twice as many pieces of loose-fitting and informal clothing as office wear. Casual and home wear also got a boost due to remote and online work, with demand for hoodies rising by 76% year on year, jeans by 42%, sweatshirts by 50% and home trousers by 84%.

The market leaders continued to be the Moscow, Saint Petersburg and the Krasnodar regions, while the fastest e-fashion demand growth was recorded in the Trans-Baikal (+91% in units), Samara (+84%) and Ulyanovsk (+82%) regions. 

T-shirts and dresses were most in demand in Trans-Baikal, pyjamas and home clothing in Samara Region, and trousers and trainers in Ulyanovsk Region.

In terms of seasonality, Russians saw an increased demand for warm clothing and footwear: sheepskin coats (+103%), jumpers (+75%), hats (+68%), scarves (+79%) and fur coats (+106%). At the same time, according to Wildberries, in 2021, Russians began to buy twice as many eco-fur coats as natural fur products, which have been shunned by more and more fashion brands in recent years.

Still, even as Russian consumers become more environmentally and ethically conscious, the "fast fashion" trend is growing, as seen in 11% lower prices for clothes and 15% y/y lower prices for footwear in 2021.