The Maag clothing chain, which replaces the Spanish Zara (Inditex), which sold its business in Russia to the Daher group due to the Russian military campaign in Ukraine, caused a sensation today at the opening of its new store in Moscow.
“In Russia we really missed a store like this. It was time”, commented the thirty-something Oleg, while choosing a T-shirt.
A mob of customers packed the Maag store throughout the day, from young people eager to wear modern clothes for the imminent May festivities to adults of both sexes and children.
“It is very important that this clothing line has returned, even if it is under another name. The collection looks very similar. I always dressed in Zara and Mango”Oleg noted.
He was also pleased that prices have not changed much and even dared to say that “the quality of clothing has improved”.
“It’s the first day, but cotton is much nicer to the touch. And there are also more variety of sizes than before”, agreed Margarita, accompanied by her teenage daughter.
Meanwhile, Masha believes that the store is very similar to its predecessor, although with one major flaw, the assortment is clearly smaller for now.
Yulia also misses “the fantasy” and “creativity” that characterizes Zara, although she could not hide her joy at the appearance of jeans.
“What pleases me most of all are the prices. I hope that the other stores take note, since with the departure of Zara the prices rose a lot“, he claimed.
Denís did notice a small increase in prices in line with the devaluation of the national currency, the ruble, against the dollar and the euro.
“The collection is much less varied, but the important thing is that an alternative has finally appeared”, he pointed out.
Dozens of stores throughout Russia
The store opened its doors in a popular Moscow shopping district full of pedestrian streets (Kuznetsky Most) that is located not far from the Bolshoi Theater.
There are four floors, two dedicated to women’s clothing, one for men and one for children, spread over almost 3,000 square meters in a classic building typical of the 19th century in imperial Russia.
In the advertising campaign to launch his chain, Daher used a Russian model, Masha Keidj, and also a local “influencer”, Alesia Káfelnikov, daughter of the famous tennis player, Yevgueni Káfelnikov.
Two other stores will open their doors tomorrow in the Aviapark and Vegas shopping centers, according to what the Union of Shopping Centers reported today.
The company announced the prompt opening of more than 60 stores in the main cities – on Thursday in Saint Petersburg – and shopping centers in the country.
In addition to Maag, the United Arab Emirates-based group will also launch the Ecru, Dub and Vilet brands.
Some fashion experts consulted by the local press disagree with the optimism that captivated the first customers, especially in terms of the women’s collection, well below the men’s.
“Well this is not Zara”, pointed out the Make your Style Telegram channel.
With the approval of the Kremlin
On April 5, the Russian Government announced the approval of the sale of the Inditex business in this country to the Daher group.
Inditex announced six months earlier that it had closed an agreement to get rid of its business in Russia, where it had close to 500 stores.
The transaction meant the cessation of operations after Inditex suspended its commercial activity in March 2022, shortly after the start of the Russian military intervention and the imposition of Western sanctions.
In the event that circumstances allow Inditex to return to Russia in the future, the Spanish firm claims to have reached an agreement with Daher to study a collaboration between the two companies through a franchise contract.
In addition to Zara, the Spanish group operated in Russia with the Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Oysho, Massimo Dutti and Zara Home brands.
Until the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, Inditex obtained 8.5% of its operating profit in the Russian market.
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