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Russian Alcoholic Beverage Retail

Research by the Company RBC Market Research
Experts at RBC Market Research prepared a comprehensive study of the Russian market of alcohol retail. During the research process, analysts assessed the development of more than 650 specialized networks operating in the market of alcohol retail in Russia. The article provides the main indicators and trends of development in the market.
Food and drinks retail trade began to grow, whereas the share of alcohol in retail continued to shrink. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), food retail trade turnover in 2017 increased insignificantly in real terms by 0.2%. However, even this minimal growth has been observed for the first time since 2013, when food retail demonstrated an increase by 2.6%. High growth rates typical for the pre-crisis period of 20062008 are impossible to achieve just yet the ongoing decline in household incomes and no measures involving raising social benefits planned by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance both make growth rates above 10% in retail trade virtually unrealistic.
Development of food retail, growth in household incomes and other factors continue to affect the structure of food and drinks retail sales. According to estimates by RBC Market Research, only 14% of food retail turnover fell on alcoholic beverages and beer in 2017. The two categories remain among the largest groups analyzed by Rosstat, even though the share of alcoholic beverages in retail turnover keeps dropping.
Alcohol retail turnover, beer included, reached 2 trillion rubles in 2017, having increased by 1.2% in nominal terms, according to RBC Market Research. No growth in alcohol retail turnover in real terms has occurred since 2013, as market development has been hindered by declining household incomes, excise duties being raised, the presence of minimum pricing for a number of alcoholic drinks and other factors.
Volumes of alcohol retail sales in real terms have been declining for 4 years in a row. In 2017, however, according to estimates by RBC Market Research, volumes of alcoholic beverage sales in real terms showed virtually no decline, which was contributed to by the low base effect (due to a significant drop in the previous periods) and gradual growth in wages in real terms.
During the study preparation, analysts at RBC Market Research assessed the share of specialized stores in the structure of retail sales of alcoholic beverages. Active development of the network segment of food and drinks retail trade led to a reduction in the share of non-network retail in sales in both food and alcohol. RBC Market Research estimates the share of the 10 largest retailers to have reached 29% of the food retail market in 2017, having increased by 1.7 pp. The total revenue from alcohol sales by the 10 largest alcohol retailers reached 258 billion rubles in 2017, according to RBC Market Research, having grown by 44% compared with 2016.
The key factor in the increase in the share of alcohol sold through retail chains is the growth of the largest networks Krasnoe i Beloe (Red&White) and Bristol. According to estimates by RBC Market Research, the share of the Chelyabinsk Krasnoe i Beloe chain grew by 4550% in 2017, whereas the Nizhny Novgorod Bristol demonstrated growth by 60%.
Three main types of networks active in Russia can be distinguished among the operators of the alcohol market. The main criteria for network division include geographical coverage and turnover.
Federal networks occupy more than half of the market in terms of the number of outlets. The key trend of the market involves ongoing growth of federal players, achieved through expansion of the largest federal networks, namely Krasnoe i Beloe, Bristol and, to a lesser extent, Aromatny Mir (Aromatic World).
The highest level of consumption of strong alcoholic drinks in absolute terms can be observed in the federal subjects with the largest populations: Moscow and Moscow region 18.8% of consumption; Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region 6.5%; Tatarstan, Sverdlovsk region and Bashkiria 3.7, 3.4 and 2.9% respectively.
Far eastern and northern regions are leading in specific strong alcoholic beverage consumption, their indicators being as follows: Sakhalin region 14.7 liters per capita; Magadan region 14 liters; Karelia 12.6liters; Komi 12.6 liters; Kamchatka Krai 11.4 liters; Nenets Autonomous District 11.4 liters.
According to forecasts prepared by analysts at RBC Market Research, the state of the Russian market of alcohol retail will continue to gradually improve, although active development of the leading market players will have a negative impact on local and regional networks.

Maksim Borovikov,
Head of Analytical Group
RBC Market Research