Russian C&F market shrank for second year in a row in 2016

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

A downward trend in volume sales of clothing and footwear that began at the end of 2014 and continued in the subsequent years was a key factor behind a 4.7% decline in the Russian C&F market’s value in 2016, according to a new report from PMR „Clothing and footwear retail market in Russia 2017 – Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022”. Russians were forced to cut spending on non-essential products, and C&F items were one of the main products cut. But miscalculations and mismanagement on the part of retailers also contributed to the slowdown in the Russian fashion market.

In 2014, the market grew mainly due to price increases, as retailers were forced to raise their prices in  in the face of the rouble’s depreciation and the consequent problems with supply. Inflation did not have a similar influence in 2015 and 2016, and the market contracted in both these years, the extent of the decline deepening in 2016. It is worth noting, though, that the fall in the market’s value in 2016 was caused mainly by weakness in clothing sales, which fell by nearly 6%. Footwear sales were down by a little over 1%.

The situation should improve in 2017 as consumers are gradually resuming their spending, having cut down on C&F purchases in the previous two years. Some growth in consumer confidence is also observed in Russia. However, a return to high growth rates, observed before 2014, should not be expected as consumers will rationalise their spending. The economic crisis in Russia has inevitably led to market clearing, providing good expansion opportunities for companies with stable financing. Thus, the largest players that managed to overcome the difficulties of the recent years will continue to expand. In addition, the significance of off-price retailers and outlet stores will grow. The drivers of the Russian C&F market’s growth in the coming years will be retail networks and the online channel.

The crisis in Russia has strongly affected the performance of the country’s clothing and footwear retailers. Almost all distribution channels have suffered from the difficult situation in the country’s economy, which has led to numerous bankruptcies and store closures (both chains and independent stores). However, while falling consumer demand and increasing costs of sourcing affected both Russian and international retailers, domestic retailers’ problems were deeper than those of foreign retailers. Of course, many foreign chains were forced to close stores or even leave the country, however, none of those companies belonged to the top of the Russian market. The situation was different among Russian companies: for example, CentrObuv and Carlo Pazolini were finally declared bankrupt in 2017.

According to PMR’s estimates, the top 25 players controlled over 27% of the Russian C&F market in 2016, which is quite low when compared internationally. The footwear segment is more consolidated than the clothing one. Most of the largest C&F players are domestic companies, some of them have foreign brands in their offer, though. The majority are pure clothing or footwear sellers, but some offer mixed C&F assortment. The market is still led by sportswear retailer Sportmaster. It is followed by two international retailers: Spain-based Inditex and Germany-based Adidas. Two domestic firms complete the top five: clothing chain Gloria Jeans and footwear brand Kari.

Online retailers, such as,,, or Direct Catalogue Service - Otto Group Russia (which operates Bonprix,,, and internet stores, some of which are also involved in mail order sales) have gained a major share in the Russian C&F market as well – all the mentioned companies are in the top 25.

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Clothing and footwear retail market in Russia 2017. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022