Shopping Centers Russia Апрель 2022 | Page 63

There are different ways to maintain interest in the shopping center, the owners of the shopping center share - through marketing campaigns, dialogue with foreign brands from friendly countries, as well as attracting and supporting Russian fashion brands.

Domestic clothing brands can certainly take the place of foreign ones in Russian shopping centers. However, for this, both sellers and manufacturers will have to solve a number of internal problems related, among other things, to the supply of materials from abroad. It is too early to talk about full replacement, experts say. “Many people assume that if Zara left, then a niche was vacated, and now we will quickly fill it,” says Anna Chernykh, founder of the Design Workshops Center, “but this is not so. It can't be done quickly. In the absence of raw materials, workers and a well-functioning industry, we will not be able to open a version of the local Zara, it is not worth harboring illusions about this yet.

What are the challenges faced by the business?

The main problem for Russian designers is foreign supplies. There are almost no companies that use Russian components at all stages. Even if the fabric, accessories and other components of clothing are made in Russia, the equipment is definitely not Russian.

“Many people wonder why the Russian brand raises prices following the exchange rate,” says Ivan Khokhlov, co-founder of 12 STOREEZ, “We produced 50% of the products completely abroad — payments for such products are made in yuan, euros and dollars. We sew the remaining approximately 50% in Russia, but tailoring itself now accounts for only 20% of the cost of the finished product, and the remaining 80% are materials and accessories purchased at new rates in other countries in euros and yuan. Thus, a total of 90% of the cost of products depends on exchange rates.

I would divide the industry into three large niches based on the size of the players.

1. Micro brands. Last week I learned that several brands have closed showrooms and suspended sales indefinitely. This is due to the fact that the main sales channel for them was social networks, now banned in the Russian Federation. It is now impossible to place paid publications there, but simply making publications is not effective, it does not provide sufficient audience coverage. So, small businesses are not doing very well. They were blocked from conveying information about new collections to their audience. Allowed social networks are a completely different audience and completely different opportunities. So they need time to rebuild.

2. If we take the middle segment (such as I Am Studios and 12Storeez), then prices will change here and the speed of release of new collections will change. This is primarily due to the unstable ruble exchange rate and difficulties in logistics.

3. The third segment is the mass market (for example, Austin, Sela) - nothing will change in their work, since the main country of production is China. Only the exchange rate can affect the increase in the cost of goods.

Regardless of the scale, we are all going through a transformation stage right now. All brands now one way or another will look for ways to keep the business and develop it in the proposed circumstances. Everyone will come either to optimization or to new partnerships. It will just be necessary to spend a certain amount of nerves and time in order to arrange the supply of materials and components. As soon as all this returns to normal, it will be possible to talk about a stable future.

Anna Chernykh, curator of the "Fashion Design" course of the British Higher School of Design, founder of the CMIT Design Workshops