Iranian clothing brands will replace Western labels in the domestic market

As Moscow faces growing Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Western clothing brands are now expected to be replaced by Iranian brands in the Russian market over a three-year period.

According to a proposal by the Russian Council for Shopping Centers (RCSC), Western clothing brands that left the Russian market due to sanctions related to the country’s military operation in Ukraine could be replaced by Iranian companies that produce clothing, leather shoes and bags. .

Russian state-run TASS news agency reported that RCSC chief Oleg Voytsekhovsky met with representatives of Iranian business associations at the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, where it was agreed that a replacement of clothing brands by Iranian brands could 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 products from Iranian manufacturers, but several issues need to be resolved in the process of bringing them to Russian retail, so this is unlikely to happen this year,” he said. Voitsekhovsky said in a statement.

As a starting point for cooperation with Iranian producers, at least 30 outlets are expected to start operating in Russia, the head of RCSC said, adding that Iranian brands will also be included in the assortment of clothing and fashion chains. existing shoes.

“Iranian manufacturers want to expand their business in our country and it is necessary to invest in branding and marketing support for products,” Voitsekhovsky said, stressing that it was necessary to solve the problem of logistics for promote brands and that the best option seemed to be “slow” routes, which would take longer but cost less.

“While logistics and certification issues are still unresolved, there is no certainty that manufacturers will be able to price their products within the price ranges common to the Russian consumer,” he said. -he adds.

Voitsekhovsky said that Russian department stores, for their part, are ready to present a range of Iranian products and, at the same time, they have made it 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, the representatives of the Russian side got acquainted with the product range of several factories in Iran, mainly leather clothes, shoes and bags in different price categories .

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 a “special military operation” to demilitarize Donetsk and Luhansk, largely populated by ethnic Russians, in eastern Ukraine.

The United States and its European allies called the military operation a “Putin land grab”, imposing unprecedented waves of sanctions on Moscow, following which Russia overtook Iran to become the country the most most sanctioned in the world.

Late last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Tehran would cooperate to circumvent Western sanctions.

Iran also announced cooperation agreements with Russia, including one on the use of national currencies in trade.

Iranian and Russian trade experts met earlier this month in the Russian capital to discuss and review bilateral relations and strengthen the two countries’ economic partnership so that Russia and Moscow can counter sanctions.

Michael O. Stutler