Revival of the Russian clothing market in Q1 2010?In Q1 2010 the Russian clothing market grew by 57%, against only 5% growth in 2009. In January-March 2010 the retail sales of clothes in the country comprised €10.8bn, according to Esper Group, a company which provides services in the area of the Russian fashion and clothing market. The jump in Q1 2010 was caused by several factors, as Daria Yadernaya, senior analyst at the Esper Group, explained to Retail Update Russia. Firstly, the recovery in customer demand started in the first quarter of 2010, which caused the orders for the spring-summer season 2010 to be significantly higher compared to that recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. Second, major international retailers, such as Dolce&Gabbana and Uniqlo, entered Russia in the first months of 2010, further growing demand. Third, currency fluctuations (euro-rouble exchange rates) drove the growth figure higher. Last but not least, in Q1 2010 many goods confiscated by customs authorities in February 2010 (worth about RUB 300m or ?7.9m), were finally cleared officially and thus appeared in the official figures for imports in January-May for this year. On the contrary to the general low growth of the total clothing market in Russia in 2009, last year, medium price brands, such as Zara and H&M, upped sales by 20% and 24% respectively. Moreover, the segment of children’s clothes proved to be resistant to the crisis and retained its revenue at ?7.5-9bn last year. Esper Group forecast the saturation of the Russian apparel market and the growth of 8-9% this year. Retail Update Russia
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