We know Estonia
14.9.2022 | Shopping

Sales declining at Estonian supermarket e-stores – are these services at risk?

Text Mark Taylor
Photo Andrei Chertkov

Sales declining at Estonian supermarket e-stores – are these services at risk?

 

During the peak of the pandemic, Estonian supermarket e-stores saw huge increases in sales. However, as the pandemic has reduced in significance throughout this year, so have online sales. With a worsening economic climate and Estonian e-supermarkets still reporting losses, are these services sustainable?

In August this year, the supermarket chain Coop announced it would be closing its e-store service for residents in Tallinn, Harjumaa and Pärnu, citing that the costs of running the service outweighed the profits earned from sales. In short, they were losing money. 

This comes just a year or so on from the height of the pandemic, when e-stores in Estonia were seeing record sales, sometimes in excess of 4-5x what they were before the pandemic. However, as coronavirus restrictions, case numbers, and the relevance of the pandemic have waned as this year has gone on, so have sales at e-stores. 

As Kristjan Anderson, head of business accounting at Selver AS explains, “all e-commerce businesses have noticed that demand is starting to decline. The first months of decline were based on (a comparison with) the very high growth figures of the previous year, so we were not able to exceed them. That’s why the vast majority of e-retailers then experienced quite a noticeable setback in the figures for the second quarter of this year when compared to last year. They varied between 20 and 50 per cent, depending on the sector at the time”.

The importance of the pandemic on e-store sales is something that Helen Lednei, e-commerce format manager at Rimi explained in further detail. “As soon as it (the pandemic) starts being talked about more in the media, and some restrictions come in, the number of e-store customers increases immediately.”

Along with falling sales, Estonian supermarket e-stores have two big hurdles to overcome; the economy and the fact that their services are currently not profitable. Regarding the latter, Lednei pointed out that “today we are in the red, and we know that other retailers are also, but we have only been on the market for two years and the investments we have made in the development of the e-store need to be recouped. We need to find more efficient ways of doing things.”

However, “certain points of high demand have proven that it can be done profitably” according to Anderson. Both Rimi and Selver have confirmed that they intend to carry on e-store services for these reasons, but with the withdrawal of Coop from certain areas of the country, growing costs, and reduced sales there is one question – can they be made profitable or will they close before it is possible?

 

Source ERR  

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Coop e-store Economy Pandemic Rimi Sales Selver supermarket

16.6.2024 | Shopping

camera icon6
This summer’s best craft beers from Estonia

This summer’s best craft beers from Estonia

There is a new generation of small breweries in Estonia that are not only original in the beers they … Read more

12.6.2024 | Shopping

Want to try 350 different kinds of craft beer?

Want to try 350 different kinds of craft beer?

This weekend, June 14-15, the popular annual Tallinn Craft Beer Weekend will take place at Kultuurikatel in Tallinn. Visitors … Read more

23.5.2024 | Shopping

Flower splendour in Haapsalu

Flower splendour in Haapsalu

In the idyllic western Estonian spa town of Haapsalu, flowers will take over Kastani street this Saturday, May 25. … Read more

14.5.2024 | Shopping

Türi Flower Fair invites you to celebrate the opening of the gardening season

Türi Flower Fair invites you to celebrate the opening of the gardening season

This Friday, May 17, the annual Türi Flower Fair (Türi Lillelaat in Estonian) starts in the small central Estonian … Read more

11.5.2024 | Shopping

The fishermen of Peipsi Lake invite you to visit

The fishermen of Peipsi Lake invite you to visit

Along the shore of Peipsi Lake is the area known as the Onion Route which hosts numerous events throughout … Read more

10.5.2024 | Shopping

The 2-day Plant Fair of Pärnu begins today

The 2-day Plant Fair of Pärnu begins today

Today and tomorrow, May 10-11, the annual Plant Fair of Pärnu will take place in the city’s Vallikäär meadow. … Read more

10.5.2024 | Shopping

Spring comes to Tartu

Spring comes to Tartu

Tartu’s old town will be transformed into a vibrant spring market this Saturday, May 11. At the spring fair, … Read more

3.5.2024 | Shopping

Big spring market and dances in Vanamõisa

Big spring market and dances in Vanamõisa

Vanamõisa’s spring market will be held this coming weekend, May 4 and 5. The event is very popular and … Read more