The mandatory tagging of shoes has not solved the problem of the wide presence of counterfeit footwear in Russia, according to Ekaterina Zheleznyakova, development director of the shoe producer and retailer, Unichel.

So far, the project has only had a negative impact on legitimate businesses, resulting as an additional control measure for Russian footwear retailers, she added. “Those working in the shadow economy, remained in the shadow economy,” Zheleznyakova claimed.

Some Russian footwear stores continue selling shoes without tags, although officially, all footwear must carry them since July of 2020, according to Zheleznyakova. The system’s software is also far from perfect, with the customers often experiencing difficulties when returning purchased goods.

Unichel estimated that tagging increased the price of cheaper shoes by nearly 10 percent.