The footwear business is in decline for many in Russia as fewer consumers are opting to buy shoes.
Prices have surged over the past two years — increasing 15 to 20-percent for budget-friendly footwear, and 100-percent higher for luxury shoes, Newsweek reported, adding that 50-percent of Russian income goes to food. Manufacturers in the country are struggling with the costs of imports.
As a result, Russians are spending conservatively, and footwear purchases have decreased to 2.5 pairs per person, according to The Moscow Times. To compare, a report published by the American Apparel and Footwear Association found that Americans bought 7.8 shoes per capita in 2015.
“Researchers at the Fashion Consulting Group (FCG) suggest Russians are holding off on purchasing new shoes until their old ones are completely worn out,” The Moscow Times reported.
Russian economic woes include a shrinking currency, a drop in real income and reliance on imports for shoe manufacturing.
“A small fraction of Russia’s shoe market is controlled by domestic producers that are heavily dependent on imports,” the report said. “As Russia’s currency is weakening due to the dropping oil prices and economic sanctions, imported goods are becoming more expensive.”
The United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia, which has been a contributor to its weakened ruble.
During his campaign, President Donald Trump spoke openly about wanting to work with Russia.
If the economy improves, the FCG predicts a possible 5 to 10-percent increase in domestic shoe sales by the end of the year.