Yandex, a Russian search engine, is shutting down its e-commerce service in Paris and hinting at an exit from London.

A representative of Russian internet company Yandex said on Thursday that the Paris operations of its online grocery business Yango Deli were being phased out, citing poor performance and hinting at a possible exit from the London market. The service, which uses darkstores — dedicated warehouses that only cater to online customers — to process grocery orders in 15 minutes, is also available in Israel and Russia under a different brand. A Yango Deli representative said, “Yango Deli is phasing out super-fast grocery delivery operations in Paris.” “This was a small-scale pilot experiment with a limited number of darkstores, and it did not meet our internal goals.” Other companies were also interested in its London unit, according to the representative.

The London unit is operated locally by Deli International Limited, a UK company. Nasdaq-listed and registered in the Netherlands, Yandex and its subsidiaries have so far avoided Western sanctions that have crippled Russia’s access to global financial systems and supply chains. Former deputy chief executive Tigran Khudaverdyan resigned after the European Union imposed individual sanctions on him, which Yandex said it was shocked and surprised to learn. The EU has criticized Yandex for warning Russian users looking for information about Ukraine on its unreliable internet information search engine. Meanwhile, the company reported that it lacked funds to cover a potential convertible bond buyback due to a suspension of trading in its Nasdaq-listed shares, while in early March a A data breach revealed users’ personal data on its food delivery app, Yandex.Eda.

“The superfast delivery market in London is very competitive and we are seeing considerable interest in our business there, including from our peers,” the spokesperson said, adding that they could not give More details. A source familiar with the matter said talks about closing the Paris operation, launched last summer, had been underway since early February, with the decision being performance-based. In London, where the service started in the fall of last year, the source said Yango Deli was considering several scenarios, one of which is a possible sale, to preserve what the team has achieved. The company operates five dark stores in London, with around 2,500 SKUs (stock-keeping units). Customer retention is at 40%, which Yango Deli says is about 1.5 times higher than the market average, according to its own estimates.

Summary of news:

  • Yandex, a Russian search engine, is shutting down its e-commerce service in Paris and hinting at an exit from London.
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