$644bln turnover and 20% growth will make Russia the largest retail market in Europe, according to market researchers IRG and IMSG. During the course of this year Russian retail sales will overtake its counterparts in Germany, France and the UK. The sector is expected to grow by a staggering 27.5% this year and by 20% in the next 2-3 years.
Russian per capita retail turnover will remain some way behind that of West European countries. in 2008, it will reach $4,542, less than half that of the UK, the European leader.
According to the Centre for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting, Russians spend as much as 83% of their income on goods and services. Sales of non-food products are growing specially fast, said the centre’s Igor Polyakov. High and medium income groups are increasingly buying high-end goods, designer refrigerators over mass produced ones and plasma panels over common TVs. LCD TV sales surged 200% in the first quarter of 2008 and laptop computers by 300%.
Russian retailers remain optimistic about future growth. Some 85% of the 49 companies polled by Ernst and Young said they expected no less than 30% growth over the next 4-5 years.