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Sports apparel & footwear tracker launched
Jun '09
The NPD Group Inc has begun tracking sales of sports apparel, athletic footwear, and some equipment categories in Russia. The Russia consumer tracking service was launched in September 2008 and covers major cities in Russia.

While sports-styled apparel is a bigger market in the United States, Canada or European Big 5 countries, the athletic footwear market is bigger in Russia. Athletic footwear brands enjoy a status in Russia that is no longer seen in more developed markets.

Additionally, NPD has found that the average selling price for the major brands was higher in Russia than in the European Big 5 countries. In Russia the average selling price for athletic footwear is €55, compared to €44 in the European Big 5 countries.

“The combination of the lower number of brands and no strong private labels means that there is a lower level of competition in Russia both on the retail side and the brand side of the equation,” notes Renaud Vaschalde, an NPD industry analyst for sports in Europe. The price gap also highlights the relative economic prosperity seen in Moscow and some of the other big cites, compared to smaller population centers that have yet to see some prosperity. This, coupled with premium prices, could present an opportunity for brands that currently have a lower profile in Russia, Vaschalde says.

Outdoor segments and outdoor brands post a stronger showing in Russia than they do in Europe. This strength does not appear to be related exclusively to the seasonality of the survey. In a direct comparison of Western Europe and Russia during the fourth quarter, NPD still finds a strong showing in the outdoor segment and related brands in Russia.

Vaschalde says that one explanation for the higher price points in Russia is the strength of the outdoor segment. “The outdoor footwear category accounts for 17 percent of sales in Russia, compared to approximately 10% of the footwear market across the Big 5 European countries,” says Vaschalde. “NPD's research finds that both hiking shoes and outerwear jackets carry a higher average price than all other footwear and apparel categories.”

Based on the soon to be released Global Sports Estimate for 2009, NPD has estimated that, by country, the Russian sports market is a $ 5.7 billion market for 2008, or in Russian Roubles 189.7 billion (the exchange rate RR 33.56 for $ 1 USD updated in MAY 2009).

“With a market this size, Russia is one of 11 countries in the world for which the market size exceeded $5 billion in 2008,” said Vaschalde.

Methodology: The Sports Tracker Russia is based on consumer data collected online via auto-administered surveys. Respondents register through a double opt-in to participate in the online panel. Randomly selected consumers receive an email invitation to take part in a survey. Reporting period covers September to December 2008 (4 month reporting period). The initial samples were randomly selected among online panellists aged 16-59 years old living in cities with more than 900,000 inhabitants (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Ufa, Kazan, Samara, Nizhni Novgorod).

NPD Group Inc

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