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An exporter’s guide to the Russian flooring market

Are you looking for a new market to export your flooring products? Russia could fit the bill – with annual flooring sales of 514 million square metres and major construction projects underway, demand for imported flooring is strong. Here are all the facts you’ll need to know on the Russian flooring market and how to sell your products there.


Market breakdown – what kind of flooring do Russians prefer?

Old favourite linoleum is still one of the top choices for Russians, making up 33% of flooring sales. 15% of linoleum flooring sold in Russia is imported – primarily from French, British, Finnish, Belgian, Slovenian, Dutch, Swedish and Swiss companies.

Laminate flooring accounts for a further 24% of the market, with a 50-50 split of imports and domestic production.

Ceramic tiling makes up 28% of the Russian flooring market. In terms of imports, 31% of all ceramics used in Russia are imported, and Italian and Spanish tiling has a strong reputation for quality and style.

Moving on to wooden flooring, European products are again the connoisseur’s choice, particularly German flooring, while Russia’s 30 wood flooring factories mainly cater to the lower end of the market. Import share for wooden flooring is about 35%.

Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring (LVT), which offers natural-looking finish but with added durability, is also making a splash in the flooring sector in Russia. While its use is not going to threaten the position of the big hitters in this list any time soon, there is definitely an LVT buzz around the Russian DIY community, so expect its popularity to rise even more this year.

Other popular flooring finishes in Russia are carpeting, parquet flooring, marble and concrete.


Import structure

65% of all flooring sold in Russia is imported. The main supplier countries are Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, Poland, China, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Although the recent slide in the value of the rouble has increased prices slightly for imported flooring, European products in particular enjoy a reputation for high quality, and quality-conscious Russians are prepared to pay a premium for it.


Major projects

The rouble might not be where it was last year, but exporters are still scrambling to get to Russia, and the number of major, national-level building projects is one of the biggest reasons why. The 2018 FIFA World Cup means 11 Russian cities are seeing a hive of building activity, with 12 stadiums being built or renovated, Russia’s hotel stock being completely rejuvenated, and other huge projects ranging from airports to new residential districts underway. For more information on the building work needed to get Russia ready to host, read our 2018 – Russia’s Challenge construction sector white paper here.

Transport infrastructure is also being beefed up around Russia, particularly on the Moscow Metro. The city’s Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin said last year that the previous forecast of 80 new stations between now and 2020 is very likely to rise.

Residential construction is also a key area. Russia has finally reversed its decades-long population decline – 2012 saw the first increase since 1991 – and this is one reason for strong house building figures. The Russian government’s affordable housing plan is in full swing, with over 10 billion roubles allocated this year to build new homes.


Distributor profiles – four big hitters

There are a large number of distributors to choose from if you go down this route of getting your flooring to Russia. Based in Moscow but with branches in seven other cities, Opus is the largest distributor of floor coverings in the country, supplying imported flooring to a huge network of building and interiors retailers.

Ortgraf is another big player on the market. The firm is the leader in commercial flooring supply for Russia's big building projects, stocking floor coverings from Dutch, Italian, Germany, Spanish and British suppliers, alongside many more. With showrooms and offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov and Krasnodar (alongside a showroom in Astana, Kazakhstan), Ortgraf is a useful partner for suppliers of any type of flooring to get into Russia.

For suppliers of office flooring, Smart Company represents 45 brands on the Russian market, and has helped international brands get their products used in over 2,500 projects in Russia. Smart Company has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Krasnodar.

As well as selling its own flooring, Gustov Flooring represents international brands including Desso, Gerflor and Armstrong, selling all types of foreign-made flooring on the Russian market.


Case study – Amorim Revestimentos

The Portuguese cork company Amorim Revestimentos is one exporter to take advantage of the Russian love for top-quality international flooring products. “Russia and cork go hand in hand,” Amorim’s sales manager for Eastern Europe, José Leandro, told Market Insights. “Considering the difficult climatic conditions of Russia, the warmth and technical properties of cork makes it an ideal flooring and wall covering product for the Russian market”.

Read José Leandro’s full interview on doing business in Russia here.


How to break into the market


Russia is a huge market and a huge country – for the first time exporter, making the right contacts and getting your products in front of the right people can be a tough ask. The MosBuild exhibition, the largest building and interiors trade show in Russia, can put your company in touch with with tens of thousands of Russian architects, specifiers and government decision makers. Want to meet them? Get in touch with us today.

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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