Russia’s Wildberries sells Zara clothes online despite Inditex shutdown

An employee of online retailer Wildberries scans a code on a parcel at a pick-up point in Moscow, Russia December 16, 2021. Picture taken December 16, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

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June 14 (Reuters) – Russian e-commerce leader Wildberries is still selling clothes from brands Inditex (ITX.MC) which have suspended operations in the country, including the main brand of Spanish group Zara.

The TASS news agency reported on Tuesday that Zara items were being sold on Wildberries, which the Russian company confirmed.

Inditex is one of many Western brands to close stores and suspend operations in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but the continued sale of some of its products highlights the struggles companies are facing to maintain control of their brands.

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Other Inditex brands, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, were also available on Wildberries, which said it would continue to offer these products to Russian consumers.

“We buy products that we sell to Wildberries without intermediaries, only directly from producers or official distributors,” Wildberries said in a statement on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear which distributors Wildberries was referring to.

A source close to Inditex said the items sold by Wildberries were liquidation stock that was already in Russia when it suspended operations there. Inditex has stopped sending products to Russia since the suspension, the source added.

Products from many other western brands are also still available on Wildberries.

The company started as an online platform reselling clothes from German mail-order group Otto and now supplies everything from electronics to kitchenware, its success making founder Tatyana Bakalchuk the wealthiest woman in the world. Russia.

Hit by sanctions and supply chain issues, Russia has legalized so-called parallel imports, which allow retailers to import products from abroad without the permission of the brand owner.

Bakalchuk in March described the program as an effective support measure, stressing its importance for small and medium-sized businesses and for importing socially meaningful products. Read more

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Reporting by Reuters Additional reporting by Corina Pons in Madrid Editing by Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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