Global luxury brands expect growing sales in Russia amid the crises, Bloomberg reports. According to the agency, for wealthy buyers cheap ruble stimulate spending.
According to Bloomberg, Prada said Russian sales last year “registered significant growth”. Russia was the strongest market in maintaining Europe for Rolls-Royce, with the exception for British Isles, the agency said with reference to the company’s data.
Bentley’s local dealer Avilon said it expects Russia to become one of the major markets for its new sport-utility vehicle (SUV), which it sees launching this spring.
In hope the trend will continue, some global luxury brands are opening new stores across the Russian capital, Bloomberg writes. In the GUM, the department store across the Red square, last year, Bulgari and Jimmy Choo opened new boutiques, while Hermes doubled its selling space, the agency said referring to a GUM spokeswoman.
“Sales are up not only in rubles but in hard currency,” Alexander Pavlov, vice president of Russia’s largest luxury retailer and operator of TsUM Mercury, told Bloomberg. According to Moscow’s Fashion Consulting Group, some wealthy buyers reduced their spending on trips to Europe and increased their shopping at home.
Fashion retailers say luxury bags and shoes with clearly visible brands are particularly good sellers. According to Denis Bogatyrev, the head of BNS Group, which operates 180 fashion stores across Russia, lower price segment brands have taken the hardest hit. Bloomberg said, the company has opened four new high-end Michael Kors stores in Moscow last year.
“Over the last two decades under a market economy, the country has had three financial crises,” said Vladimir Holyaznikov, CEO KupiVIP Group, an online retailer of premium goods. According to him, this has taught Russians that the safest thing to do with money is to spend them, adding that the company has increased its sales by 55% last year.
Holyaznikov said, refers Bloomberg, that people prefers to buy luxury goods at a lower exchange rate than buy dollars at rates as high as 80 rubles.
What is more, according to Maria Vakatova, partner at Watcom Group, a Moscow retail consultant, for luxury-segment buyers it is hard to give up their lifestyle. “Even in hard times, there are people who are ready to spend up to half a million rubles on a trip to the store,” she said, refers Bloomberg.
Growing number of Chinese tourist in the Russian capital has also contributed in boosting luxury sales, Bloomberg writes. Their number has increased drastically over the last two years, while the exchange rate makes prices in Russia lower than at home.
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