Brand-name consumer goods take Polish market by storm

Brand-name clothing is taking more of the Polish market as Poles? income rises, the Dziennik newspaper reported.
In addition, research indicates that Poles are spending more on clothing and footwear.
These trends have led to brand-name companies buying rivals to try to obtain more market share, according to the Krakow-based market-research company PMR Ltd. It offers advice to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern Europe.
PMR, which also does publishing and consulting, predicted that the value of Poland?s clothing and footwear market could grow as much as 10 percent this year . That would mean it would surpass 30 bln zloty.
Marcin Materny, head of the analysis department at the Millennium Brokerage in Warsaw, said the growth will continue because Poles? purchasing power is rising each year.
Poles appear to have changed their clothing shopping venues, too. Anecdontal evidence indicates they are visiting bazaars less often and brand-name stores more.
PMR analysts think consolidation in the brand-name clothing industry, which began in 2006, will accelerate.
Last year Gino Rossi, the Italian manufacturer of footwear and accessories, bought the Polish Simple women?s clothing boutiques.
In July 2006, the Polish suit maker Vistula and shirt producer Wolczanka merged into Vistula and Wolczanka. Then, in autumn of 2006, Galeria Centrum, one of Poland?s best-known brands, joined them.
Gallery?s lineup includes men?s and women?s fashions, lingerie, footwear, accessories, jewelry, brand-name cosmetics and home furnishings. The key to the company?s success has been clothing brands designed exclusively for Galeria Centrum and available only in its stores.
The company operates 12 stores in the biggest Polish cities. One is in Krakow.
PMR believes both Gino Rossi and Vistula and Wolczanka group are searching for new takeover targets.
Another recent consolidation was the Lodz-based Monnari group taking over Lodz-based Pabia, with its Pabia and Mortensen brands.
In addition to takeovers, PMR expects companies to increase their customer bases with new brands.
Artman, which caters to the youth market, is working on a Rogate 180 Street brand, Dziennik reported. Artman, which both designs and markets its clothes, already offers the House brand.

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