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As global brands exit Russia, Indian retailers rush in to fill the gap: Report

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As global brands exit Russia, Indian retailers rush in to fill the gap: Report

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With brands like Zara, H&M, Mango, Nike Ikea and so on closing shop in Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, at least 4 Indian companies have tied up with Russian firms for franchise agreements. Another dozen are expected to be onboarded this week.

As global brands exit Russia, Indian retailers rush in to fill the gap: Report

As global brands exit Russia for invading Ukraine, Indian retailers may be looking to fill the gap. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues in its second month, most global retailers have either closed down their operations in the country or exited Russia for good. Brands like Zara, H&M, Mango, Nike and Ikea are among hundreds that have stopped their business in Russia.

Amid the exodus, Indian retailers have sensed an opportunity for expanding their markets. Companies like Maspar, a home furnishing retailer, and Killer Jeans, a fashion brand, are looking to open up shop in Russia, reported The Economic Times.

At least four companies have already tied up with Russian firms for franchise agreements, and another dozen or so Indian companies are expected to be onboarded this week, Susil Dungarwal, Founder of Beyond Squarefeet Advisory, a retail consultancy firm, told ET.

The consultancy firm is helping companies in their partnership and franchise discussions with Russian companies.

“Say one guy was running 50 stores of Calvin Klein as a master franchisee in Russia. Now, Calvin Klein is no more there, but that company still has 50 empty stores with him. So, either he closes those 50 stores and exit the business, or he can bring alternative brands,” Dungarwal said.

Dungarwal said each of these potential deals is estimated at around $1 million in value if the agreements go through. But at the same time, there is some definitive risk in doing business with the ostracised country.

While India has taken a neutral stance in the conflict between the two nations, increasing pressure due to the mounting evidence of war crimes in Ukraine has made it difficult for the country to stick to its stand. For now, India’s continuing to do business with Russia, citing crucial defence, oil and crude needs.

Apart from Indian brands, Russia has also been trying to woo companies from China, Iran and Turkey as these countries have mostly stayed neutral in response to the US-led sanctions.

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