The range of imported alcohol in Russian stores will be reduced by 50% by the end of the year – ExpertRU

Leading Russian retail chains in June-August reduced the import of alcoholic beverages by 60-100%, depending on the category, compared to last year’s figures.

This is indicated by the data of the Association of Retail Companies (AKORT), which unites the largest retailers such as X5 Retail Group, Magnit and Lenta.

It is reported that the supply of sparkling wines from the Champagne region has completely stopped, the supply of whiskey has decreased by 70%, the supply of French cognac and imported beer has decreased by 60%. In general, the range of foreign alcohol on store shelves fell by 40-95%.

Purchase prices for imported alcohol have increased by 27-40% since February 2022, for a number of drinks the price jump was 70%. Retail chains expect a reduction in the remaining range of imported alcohol in the next three months by 40-50%, AKORT noted.

The organization once again pointed out that the parallel import of brands that left the Russian market would be the best solution in the current situation, especially during the winter holidays. The association expressed confidence that the existing control mechanisms for alcoholic products imported into the Russian Federation, such as licensing suppliers and retailers, EGAIS, labeling with federal special brands, are able to guarantee the quality and authenticity of drinks. It is also noted that large importers and retailers are not interested in importing fakes, as they are aware of reputational and administrative risks.

ACORT warned that a decrease in the assortment would weaken competition in the category and provoke an increase in purchase prices for alcohol, which would negatively affect buyers, and the cessation of imports would lead to an increase in the share of the shadow market, as a result of which low-quality and counterfeit alcohol could actually appear on it.

AKORT asked the government in August to allow parallel imports of alcohol; The Ministry of Finance did not support this idea. The Ministry of Industry and Trade, in turn, prepared a draft amendment to the list of goods and brands allowed for parallel imports, including alcohol from about 90 brands. The decision to include individual brands of alcohol in the list may be made before the end of September. According to Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, this period seems to be the most optimal in light of the fact that retailers should have time to stock up for the holidays.

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