Market overview Russia

Stretching across an area of over 17 million km², the earth’s largest country covers vast parts of Europe and Asia. With a population of just under 142 million, Russia, however, in relation to its size, has a relatively low population density. Urbanisation is doing its part in that the majority of people are living in one of the country’s 13 mega-cities. The capital of Moscow is in the European part of Russia and is one of its most important trading hubs.

Economic upswing in Russia

Russia did not emerge totally unscathed from the recession of the past years. According to the Foreign Office, the crisis, however, seems to have been overcome. In 2017, economic growth recorded a positive 1.5 % increase. The gross domestic product came to around US$ 1,527 billion. The country owes this recovery primarily to its position as a crucial supplier of raw materials to global markets.

Buying power overshadowed by frugality 

Despite having seemingly overcome the economic crisis, Russians are only slowly returning to old form. Buying power is steadily on the up while consumer habits are following suit at a slower pace only. The frugality of Russians benefits especially the suppliers of budget-friendly products and discount merchandise. And also online retailing, thanks to what are presumably more favourable prices, is used more and more as a purchasing channel.

Toys barely affected by spending squeeze

According to the Toy Association, the toy market in Russia grew by 11 % in 2017. The Russian toy sector thus recorded the second-largest growth rate within any one country worldwide. Around 17 % of the population are children and youths aged between 0 and 14. Toys for children and pre-school kids form the largest growth segment in Russia. Educational and early development toys are therefore very high on parents’ agenda. 

Important product groups in Russian toy trade 

Next to toys to promote children’s development, traditional toys like building blocks or puzzles drive sales. Russians like to buy brands from the mid-end price segment. International manufacturers are given preference because of their high product quality. Licenced articles are becoming more popular as well. According to a survey by Disney, double-digit growth rates for sales of licenced toys are to be expected by 2022.