Market size of counterfeit athletic shoes
Results of a survey by BrandMonitor
Using the results of a representative survey of the Russian population and relevant data of BrandMonitor's counterfeit monitoring system, we have analyzed the market structure of fake sports shoes in Russia and identified a few typical behavioral traits displayed by consumers of such goods.
The structure of the fake sneakers market in Russia
The majority of counterfeits (70%) are sold in shopping mall stores (pavilions) (37%) and clothing bazaars (33%). Total annual sales in the two channels reach approximately ₽54 billion. Roughly 30% of all counterfeit sneakers are sold online, to the tune of ₽23 billion a year. Of these, various online marketplaces generate ₽16 billion in sales, with another ₽7 billion coming from sales through social networks.
Fakes have spread across all channels—no place today can claim to be 'fake-free.' As soon as a new channel emerges, counterfeiters immediately pollute it with their goods.
The average price of a pair of counterfeit sneakers does not exceed ₽2,400. Fakes will cost you the most in Moscow, with an average price of ₽2,900; in cities with a population of 1,000,000+ people they cost ₽2,200, while in smaller cities of 100,000+ but less than 1,000,000 inhabitants the price goes down to ₽2,000.
Aided by our online counterfeit detection system, analysis of the prices of counterfeit and genuine sneakers sold on social networks and online marketplaces shows that the maximum average price of a fake pair is ₽3,000.
The Internet is inundated with offers of fake sneakers. For example, over 100,000 social media posts advertise inauthentic items of a particular brand. What is remarkable is that the sellers are often quite open about the fact that they are selling fakes, only they refer to them as 'copies' or 'replicas' of the original goods. The aforementioned 100,000 posts cover an audience of 20 million people.
An examination of merchandise in brick-and-mortar retail stores revealed that, in large cities, for every store selling original items, there are on average three shops offering fakes. Moreover, such dishonest retailers often enjoy a central location, not far from legitimate stores. Police raids of such retailers result in annual seizures of over 10,000 infringing items per brand of sneakers.
Ability to recognize a fake
The survey also focused on the study of consumers' ability to spot online marketplaces that sell counterfeits. For this purpose, the interviewees were shown screenshots of legitimate online shopping sites as well as those that engage in illicit trade.
In preparation for the test we studied the respondents' opinion of their own abilities to tell stores with fake sneakers from ones that sell genuine items. Half of the interviewees (50%) were confident that the task was easy.
Interestingly, there is no correlation between the price of an authentic pair and that of a fake one. In other words, whether the original item costs ₽12,000 or ₽4,000, its 'copy' will not sell for more than ₽3,000. The reason is that sellers of counterfeits come up with a price that would be comfortable for the consumer, rather than take into account the production costs (which are minimal anyway as the materials are cheap and quality control is non-existent).
The survey suggests that consumers tend to seriously exaggerate their ability to identify counterfeits on the Internet. Even those absolutely certain that they are buying a genuine product risk getting a fake.
Data collected in an online survey. The sample size is 1000 interviews. The sample represents Russian adult population aged 18 to 55 in the cities with a population of 100,000 and more people.
Сбор данных осуществлен в августе 2019 года
The market size of sports shoes in Russia is estimated at ₽157 bn, of which about ₽77 bn (33%) are generated by illicit sales.