ECONOMY

Greeks retail firms try their luck abroad

If there is one good thing that has come out of the current economic crisis it is a gradual move away from a craze for foreign labels, especially where clothing is concerned. Studies have shown that Greek consumers are becoming more actively involved in giving their support to domestic manufacturers and becoming more aware, albeit belatedly, that what they purchase can have an impact on the national economy. The result of this new interest in buying Greek is that shops are becoming proud to advertise the local origins of their products, in stark contrast to previous decades when foreign provenance would be all but lit up in neon. However, the domestic market is still not purchasing enough to support Greek manufacturing on its own, so most firms are looking for ways to access foreign markets through exports, with a number of apparel, footwear and accessory companies starting to do brisk business overseas.

In the clothing and apparel sector, Attrattivo has expanded its sales points from 70 in Greece, to 20 more in Cyprus, Serbia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. The company has already been exporting to Western Europe for the past 15 years, where it has had some success despite the stiff competition, and is likely to expand even more aggressively in the future.

Raxevsky has also pursued an outward-looking sales policy and has deals in the wholesale market with Armenia, Turkey and Albania, as well as outlets in Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. The company?s management, meanwhile, is in the process of making some exploratory contacts with enterprises in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Australia, while its children?s line, Mini Raxevsky, currently has three stores in Russia, where it plans to expand further, and another three in Cyprus.

Also in children?s clothing, Lapin House and the company Fragos SA (of the Mandarino and Marasil brands) have been busy abroad, with the latter expanding beyond its network of 30 stores in Greece to supplying other retail outlets in Italy, Russia, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. Likewise, Lapin House clothing is not only available in Greece, but also in China, the UAE, Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Qatar, at a total of 140 sales points.

Denim wear company Staff Jeans has focused on European markets, establishing a presence in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Cyprus, Russia, Hungary, Bosnia and Serbia, while women?s wear company Toi