I've written about the troubles befalling American malls but it's tough in Russia too. The AP reports that the economic crisis and low oil prices are starting to make Moscow's popular GUM shopping center on Red Square look a bit like a ghost town. Some boutiques are closing while others are doing the same thing that their U.S counterparts are doing, offering deep discounts to lure anyone who might still be shopping. Russia has been a tremendous growth area for many international brands over the past few years as Russians became accustomed to increased spending power. Now it seems that they've followed the rest of the world into shopping retreat.
Back in October I mentioned that the managing director of Mercury, the country's biggest luxury goods group has said that sales have fallen at the popular TsUM shopping center. Mercury's stores sell many of the world's top luxury brands, everything from Gucci to Maserati cars and Chopard jewelry through the TsUM department store and other luxury shops.
Also it was recently announced that this year's Moscow World Fine Art Fair, set to take place at the end of May, has been canceled. The cancellation was mainly due to troubles getting sufficient sponsorship to cover the costs of the fair. ArtInfo reports that only a few dealers had pulled out of the fair but cancellations from Bulgari and Harry Winston prompted the organizers to cancel now rather than months from now when the economic crisis could be even worse. They hope to bring the fair back next year.