M&S have a very successful Franchise relationship with FIBA who operate our stores in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Naturally we wanted to ensure that any eCommerce market entry would recognise this and ensure that there would be no competition between channels, so it was vital that internally we set ourselves up to share the upside.
What became very apparent early on from our initial market review back in June 2012 was that Russian ecommerce was vastly different in many ways to that which are more accustomed to in the UK. Indeed, it is nearly as “foreign” as China and therefore we felt that the most appropriate market-entry solution was not to impose our existing solution or to try and get deliveries through Russian customs from the UK but to develop one locally through FIBA in–country.
Given local economic conditions we waited until this year to launch www.marksandspencer.ru, this time on a local Russian commerce platform, offering cash on delivery, local fulfilment options and consistent multi-channel pricing and promotions.