Moscow footwear sales in sharp decline
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The sale of shoes by retail chains in the Russian capital have dropped by up to 40 per cent year-on-year, according to a recent study, with residents spending less in response to the economic downturn currently afflicting the country.
Of the 22 retailers surveyed, the worst hit saw revenue down by two-fifths. Average sales by shoe shop chains between January and October 2015 were down by 20-25 per cent compared to the same period in 2014. As a result, many shoe store owners are reported to have put development plans on hold or even closed stores.
The economic decline follows a sharp devaluation of the Russian currency that has resulted in an increase in the cost of imports, accelerated price inflation and eroded the value of wages. The ruble is some 40 per cent weaker against the US dollar than it was in the summer of 2014.
In response, most shoe sellers have pushed up their prices. On average,
the price of a pair of shoes is said to have increased by 21 per cent over the past year.
Yet despite falling sales, the Russian market still appears to have an attraction for certain foreign retailers. Six new foreign shoe brands came to Russia during 2015, with one company pulling out of the market.
Overall retail sales in Russia for the first nine months of 2015 fell by 8.5 per cent compared to the same period during the previous year, according to official data provided by the Rosstat state statistics service.
This article was originally published on page 3 of the January 2016 issue of SATRA Bulletin.