Russian Market Update
Mixed messages have been coming out of Russia as we enter the major retail season for fur. Overall retail sales in September are said to have had the greatest increase of any single month in the last year. Year-to-date advance is slightly over eight percent. Fur retailers are reporting an increase in store traffic but with some price resistance, an increase in sales month to month has not been felt.
On a very positive note, the Black NAFA label has received a very warm reception by both retailers and wholesalers. The extensive editorial coverage received in fashion magazines brought many consumers into the fur stores asking for garments produced in the Black NAFA from the Limited Edition rancher collection.
In Pyatigorsk, southern Russia, there are encouraging signs of economic activity as new infrastructure is being built to accommodate the 2014 winter Olympics in the nearby city of Sochi. The city of 200,000 is a big fur producer and fur production is expected to expand there in the coming years.
Economists have been predicting growth for 2012 in Russia but predictions have been scaled back as a result of the on-going market jitters and the debt crisis facing Greece along with currency fluctuations. The only question mark at this point in the year is how the debt situation in Greece will affect global markets overall and the retail market in Russia in particular.