Russia–The New Capital of Malls

3 Apr

In contrast to the depressing topic of last month, let’s launch into spring with a brighter one:  mall paradise.

Looking for a mall paradise?  According to a story in the New York Times, the new world capital of malls is Moscow.

The story notes that real estate developers are building the world’s largest mall outside of Asia in Moscow (thus ensuring that, even in its ghost state, the Mall of China remains the world’s largest mall). Another mall boasts higher visitorship than the Mall of America.  Moscow alone now has 82 malls.  Among them are recently arrived outlet malls.

A few factors seem to fuel this development. First, in a cold country like Russia, malls are warm places to visit with lots of place to roam.  Second, Russia was left out of the mall building boom of the 1980s and 1990s. Third, according to the story, because of “socialized medicine and high levels of home ownership” (a legacy of the Soviet era),  “Russians have some of the highest disposable income for retail expenditures.”

That’s not lost on international chain stores.  Indeed, one of the major developers of malls in Russia is IKEA.

To read the story, click here.

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