Andrei Pavlov, owner and founder of Russian footwear retailer Zenden, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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In a Russian twist to the kind of consumer nationalism that Donald Trump is championing, a hard-charging retailer in Moscow has figured out how to turn Vladimir Putin's boldest geopolitical gambits into shoe sales.Pavlov, who served in the army in the early 1990s, said he refused to do business any more with his Turkish partners, who'd accounted for about 7 percent of Zenden's sales.Pavlov said he's trying to figure out ways to buy more footwear from Syria, where quality is high and costs are even lower than in China, which supplies almost 80 percent of his inventory.Zenden produced 80,000 pairs of shoes at a rented facility in Crimea last year, or about 1 percent of the company's output, but Pavlov said that volume will swell to as much as a million pairs annually once he finishes the 1 billion ruble ($18 million) factory he's building in the Black Sea port city of Yevpatoria.Pavlov expects sales to jump to 12 million pairs this year, boosting revenue by about 30 percent to 28 billion rubles as he opens his 400th store and expands into Siberia.
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