Obuv Rossii, the big Russian shoe producer and retailer, has announced plans to expand PickPoint's network in Russia by opening pick-up locations for products it sells online within its stores. This will allow the company to increase customer flows and take advantage of growing sales in the online segment.

Obuv Rossii  launched a joint project with PickPoint in late October and has already opened pick-up locations in 160 of its stores, both in major cities and in cities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000 people, the company said in a statement on its website.

In total, Obuv Rossii seeks to open 250 pick-up locations with PickPoint. Most of the pick-up locations are offered in the stores of Westfalika, one of the main shoe retail chains of Obuv Rossii. The company expects that the volume of click-and-collect orders in stores will grow with the general expansion of e-commerce in Russia.

Total online sales represented 12.8 percent of Obuv Rossii total turnover in the first half of this year. With a growth of 21 percent during the period, they contributed to a 13.6 percent increase in total revenues to 4.48 billion rubles (€58m-$66m) during the period.

Earlier, Obuv Rossii launched a similar project with DPD, a leading Russian logistics company, to increase the customer flows in the stores, support the development of Obuv Rossii's online division and improve customer retention.

Obuv Rossii is also the first company in the Russian shoe market to adopt blockchain technology to protect the personal records of its customers when they sign agreements for installment plans. More and more purchases are being made on credit at its stores, thanks to blockchain technologies, the company reported on its website in October.

In 2017, payments in installments at the group's stores went up by 20 percent to 3.2 billion rubles (€42m-$48m), representing about one-third of the total revenues and contributing to their overall growth.