On average, Russian fashion retailers failed to sell 30 percent of their summer collections due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in record levels of unsold stocks, according to the Moscow-based think tank Fashion Consulting Group.

Some retailers were unable to sell half of their summer collections, which now remain on the shelves alongside autumn shoes and clothes. Typically, as of early September, Russian retailers have sold 90 percent of their summer wares. In the current situation several companies have found themselves short of the cash to renew their assortment, Fashion Consulting Group pointed out.

The overhang is partly the result of disruptions in the supply chain caused by the pandemic, that led to late deliveries, explained Ilya Yaroshenko, president of the Russian fashion retailer Baon. The same is occurring with the autumn and winter collections, with delays reaching four to eight weeks and shortening the period when goods can be sold at full price, added Kirill Yasko, general director of Boardriders Russia.

Sales were also hit by a 20 to 50 percent drop in demand, Yaroshenko estimated.

The amount of excess stock could push retailers to reduce orders for the next spring/summer collections. The outcome depends on whether sales for the autumn/winter collections return to pre-crisis levels. In which case, retailers may reconsider and order more aggressively for the spring/summer 2021 season, according to Yaroshenko.

Overall sales on the Russian fashion market this year could drop by 30 percent compared to 2019 to 1.75 trillion rubles (€19.7bn-$23.2bn), the Russian consulting agency Infoline Analytics forecast.