The clothing retail market in Russia is estimated to have been worth Rb1.05 trn (US$35 bn) in
2010—1% more than in the previous year. The increase followed a 9% fall in 2009, from Rb1.1 trn
to Rb1.03 trn, which resulted from the global economic downturn. In the first half of 2011, the market
stagnated but in 2011 as a whole it is expected to grow by 3-5%. Moreover, there remains a great
deal of potential within the Russian market as a number of sectors are strong and are forecast to grow
in the upcoming years.
Women’s clothing has the largest share with 55% of the clothing market in value terms, but men’s
clothing is the most promising sector with annual growth expected to be about 10% per annum. Even
in 2009—which was the most difficult year for the industry—this sector continued to grow.
One of the major features of the Russian clothing retail market is its low concentration. There are
about 200 domestic and international clothing brands with a presence in the Russian clothing retail
market and the shares of even the largest domestic brands remain insignificant.
In recent years, leading international clothing brands have been able to put competitive pressure on
local players and gain a significant share of the Russian clothing retail market. As a result, the retail
market remains very attractive for foreign investors—especially those willing to expand into the vast
undeveloped regions outside the major cities. However, brands planning to expand independently into
the Russian market could encounter serious problems—not least the high levels of corruption and
bureaucracy in the country.
In an attempt to strengthen domestic producers and help them to compete with clothing imports, the
Russian government has formed a Strategy for Development of Light Industry of Russia until 2020.
However, the strategy also addresses a number of other serious issues—such as the large share of
counterfeit clothing on the market.