Russia's retail trade turnover will fall by up to 9% this year, a major Russian retail lobby group said on Tuesday, as the sector battles logistics problems, supply chain issues and dwindling consumer purchasing power.
Many Western companies have shunned Russia since it sent troops into Ukraine on 24 February, creating supply chain headaches, while high inflation is feeding into prices and lowering demand.
'Decrease In Total Retail Turnover'
"For the year we expect a decrease in total retail turnover in the range of 8-9%," Interfax quoted Igor Karavaev, head of the presidium of the Association of Retail Companies as saying.
"This is not surprising... The difficulties faced by the retail sector this year are unprecedented - the destruction of logistics chains, the need to quickly find new suppliers, inflation pressure, lower demand. The industry is for the first time feeling the effect of these factors simultaneously," he said.
Karavaev said food retailers are likely to fare better and noted that discount stores were growing in popularity as consumers look to save money.
Russian shopping malls have been 'de-energised' and have lost up to 30% of their footfall due to the exit of many Western brands, a major property developer said on Monday.
Annual inflation in Russia accelerated to 16.70% as of 1 April, its highest since March 2015 and up from 15.66% a week earlier, the economy ministry said, as the volatile rouble sent prices soaring amid unprecedented Western sanctions.