Russian shopping malls are losing steam and footfall is falling by as much as 30% following the exodus of Western brands, the son of one of Russia’s leading real estate developers said Monday.


RBC news outlet RBC quotes statements by Emin Agalarov, pop star and first vice president of the Crocus Group, founded by his billionaire father, explaining that the loss of key tenants could spell the end of shopping malls.

«If you have a luxury mall, you need Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton; if it’s mid-tier, Zara, H&M, Reebok, Adidas,» Emin Agalarov stressed in an interview.

«And if they are not there, the center loses personality,» he insisted.

Agalarov estimated that the Crocus Group’s main shopping centers, Vegas and Crocus City, located on the outskirts of Moscow, had lost 30% of their traffic. Crocus will have to open a bowling alley or a warehouse if it is left with large unleased spaces.

Crocus’ press number is unanswered and for the time being the group has declined to comment.

Many Western brands have left Russia or suspended operations since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Several of McDonald’s Corp’s former restaurants reopened on Sunday under a new brand in one of the most high-profile examples of a Western brand’s exit.

Many retailers have opted to close for the time being, leaving Russians with fewer stores to choose from in shopping malls and Moscow’s upscale central district.

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