Russia: Iranian clothing brands to replace Western labels in national market
While Moscow faces increasing Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Western clothing brands are now expected to be replaced with Iranian ones in the Russian market over a span of three years.
According to a proposal made by the Russian Council of Shopping Centers (RCSC), Western clothing brands that have left the Russian market due to sanctions over the country’s military operation in Ukraine could be replaced by Iranian companies that produce leather clothing, shoes, and bags.
Russia’s TASS news agency reported that the head of the RCSC, Oleg Voytsekhovsky, had met with the representatives of Iranian business associations at the Iranian embassy in Moscow, where it was agreed that a replacement of Western clothing brands with the Iranian ones might occur within three years.
However, there are a number of organizational issues that need to be resolved first.
“Russia is interested in opening stores with goods from Iranian manufacturers, but several issues have to be resolved in the process of bringing them to Russian retail, so it is unlikely to happen this year,” Voitsekhovsky said in a statement.
As a starting point of cooperation with Iranian producers, at least 30 outlets are slated to start operations in Russia, the head of the RCSC said, adding that Iranian brands will also be included in the assortment of existing clothing and footwear chains.
“Iranian manufacturers want to expand their business in our country and there is a need to invest in brand creation and marketing support for the goods,” Voitsekhovsky said, stressing that it was necessary to solve the issue of logistics to promote brands and that the best option seemed to be “slow” routes, which would take more time but with less cost.
“While the issues of logistics and certification are still not resolved, there is no confidence that manufacturers will be able to set the prices of their products in the usual price ranges of the Russian consumer,” he added.
Voitsekhovsky said Russian department stores, for their part, are ready to present a range of Iranian goods and at the same time, they put forward a condition that the manufacturers themselves will have to invest in the launch of local branches with their own management offices and in advertising.
During the meeting at the Iranian embassy in Moscow, representatives of the Russian side got acquainted with the range of goods of several factories in Iran, mainly leather clothing, shoes, and bags in different price categories.