CEO of Fashion Consulting Group
For overseas shopping there are both rational and irrational reasons. Shopping while traveling abroad makes sense not only because of the benefits, but also because of the pleasure of the process itself. It is for the sake of this pleasure that the very people who saved and chose the goods at a discount in a mass shopping center, with joy and ease, leave significant amounts in luxury boutiques.
A significant part of the money spent in the process of overseas shopping is completely justified expenses for “pleasant moments of life”, and irrational “bonuses” - relaxation, pleasure, pleasant pastime - are no less valuable for our life than saving. Nevertheless, is there any benefit in shopping abroad?
What is cheaper in Russia
Of course, prices in rubles inevitably rose in 2015, while most major international brands have narrowed their mark-up in Russia due to a drop in the purchasing power of Russians. This applies to both mass and premium brands. This is evidenced by prices and public statements by the leaders of Uniqlo, Inditex and Mango. For example, Mango reduces its prices in Russia by 20%. This measure came into force on April 23 and applies to all lines of chain stores: Woman, Man, Kids and Violeta. Another example is the British brand Karen Millen, which in February announced that their prices in Russia are now equivalent to prices in the UK. Premium brands also use other steps, for example, bring to our market “lightweight” categories of goods - such as Chanel mini handbags. The Italian Etro boutique in GUM re-evaluated in early April, reducing clothing prices by an average of 15-20%. The Versace boutique, located in the same place, adjusted prices downwards on April 9th.
International brands have the opportunity to take such steps, as this does not significantly affect their global business as a whole, but allows them to strengthen the loyalty of Russian customers. Thus, today in terms of euros, dollars or pounds, prices in Russia have become much closer to European ones. But still, with the exception of certain types of goods. For example, women's H&M Super Skinny Fit jeans in the UK cost 1,539 rubles (19.99 pounds), and in Moscow - 1,299 rubles, men's Skinny Low jeans in Britain will cost 2,309 rubles (29.99 pounds), and in Russia 1 999 rubles. Another example from the premium segment: an Escada Delwys dress on the site costs $ 1,150, that is, approximately 58,650 rubles, and in Russia - 46,574 rubles.
Why go to Europe?
Nevertheless, in general, prices in Russia remain higher, by 10-15% or more. But if you still manage to figure out cheaper goods in Europe, the cost of travel and accommodation will pay off the benefit of this small difference. Therefore, European shopping, as well as shopping in Dubai or New York, makes sense not so much for the sake of saving in stores, but for the pleasure of the shopping process itself and the opportunity to have more choice. Collections of foreign brands in Russia this year are incomplete. For example, they do not have “high-risk models”, palettes are simplified, expensive models, the so-called “spire collections add-ons,” are excluded.
In addition, abroad you can shop at the outlets of the manufacturers themselves, and not at discounts. An outlet is fundamentally different from discounts. The discount is a secondary retail sale of goods that stores bought, put up their mark-up, but could not sell and are now trying to make a discount. Part of the goods at a discount of unknown origin, often counterfeit or "local spill" with a foreign name.
Unlike discount, an outlet is a store of the manufacturer itself, which, while offering a markdown, still values its reputation. Outlets do not have counterfeit goods, but you need to keep in mind that some of the collections sold are models made specifically for outlets. Such models resemble the main collection, but they are simpler in design and are made of cheaper materials. Unfortunately, at the moment in Russia there are no outlets of large international brands.
And, of course, if you look not for the pleasure of shopping, but for the benefit, then it is much easier to find on the Internet. For example, buying fashionable clothes through the Farfetch.com website, you will receive it in Russia at a price that has already been taxed, that is, actually duty free.
How much are things in Russia and abroad
Name and brand
In Great Britain
Dolce & Gabbana ruched polka dot dress
rubles (≈2,300 pounds)
Kenzo 'Dots & Logo' bomber jacket
rubles (≈371 pounds)
Louis Vuitton Twist Epi Denim PM
rubles (≈2,000 pounds)
Hugo boss 'hekata'
rubles (≈300 pounds)
H&M Jersey top
rubles (≈ 7.99 pounds)
Zara Ripped boyfriend jeans
rubles (≈29.99 pounds)
Farfetch.com data for April 27