Lamoda, a Russian online platform selling fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, and fashion school Fashion Factory School in Moscow conducted a survey to study the demand for local brands in the country, as well as to identify the categories that lack products and the most promising niches for launching fashion brands.
The audience chosen for the survey consisted of people who had previous experience with purchasing young local brands, and the total number of respondents was 1,500. Approximately 50 percent of buyers of local brands are residents of cities with a million inhabitants and large cities.
Russia: Growing interest in local brands
It is noted that almost half of the respondents got acquainted with local brands after February 2022, and the remaining half have already had experience of buying their assortment in all the studied product groups: women's clothing and footwear, men's clothing and footwear, sportswear and footwear accessories, as well as home goods. Lamoda has noticed a significant increase in interest in local brands since 2021.
More than half of respondents (54 percent) said that the main driver for buying local brands in 2023 was interest in assortment. While almost a quarter of respondents said they were interested in local brands because the price is lower than foreign brands.
What wardrobe items from local brands are most in demand?
The most popular categories of local brands are women's clothing (74 percent), accessories (34 percent) and women's shoes (31 percent). While accessories from local brands already occupy a leading position in the wardrobe of respondents compared to foreign brands and account for 41 percent and 36 percent respectively.
Niches where demand significantly outweighs supply
The survey also revealed the categories in which shoppers feel a particularly acute lack of assortment - men's fashion and sporting goods. While the demand for men's goods, including sports, on the platform is traditionally high, the number of goods of men's local brands on Lamoda is 2.9 times less than women's. And in sports local brands, men's assortment is present only among unisex brands, which are 2.6 times less than brands with sports goods for women.
The researchers conclude that the ‘men's fashion’ and ‘sporting goods’ segments are among the most promising for launching local brands in Russia, according to experts at the FFS Fashion Business Education School.
Anna Dubrovina, brand director of Fashion Factory School said in a statement: "Over the last year and a half, we have seen a significant increase in interest in creating their own sports brand among our students: fashion entrepreneurs see the market opportunities and do not want to miss them. It is worth noting that the Russian audience is used to the high bar that has already been set by international sports brands, and now they expect the same level from new brands."
Key criteria when choosing a local brand in Russia
The study by Lamoda and Fashion Factory school shows that Russian consumers are primarily guided in their choice by brand recognition, which is mentioned by 75 percent of respondents.
At the same time, recognisability of Western brands is important only for 56 percent of respondents. Ecological production of local brands is supported by 30 percent of buyers, while the same factor in choosing foreign brands is important only for 6 percent of respondents. Discounts are also crucial for a quarter of respondents.