Where do Russians shop? Smashing Stereotypes from the Soviet Union, In shopping malls, of course! I'm in Moscow Russia at Aviapark Mall (Авиапарк) - Europe's largest shopping mall with hundreds of stores like H&M, Ikea, Uniqlo. This place is HUGE! Perfect retail therapy on a rainy day.
What Kind of Foods Do Russians Eat?
The foods available in the food court are delicious, with so many varieties of cultural fast foods that we don't have at home. Of course there is always the typical American fast food culprits that are enjoyed all over the world. I love going to McDonalds, Burger King and KFC's around the world, because the menus have regional differences. McDonalds in Russia serves Fried Shrimp, which I think are much better than chicken McNuggets! Burger King had a Swedish Whopper with cranberries, and KFC has crunchy Chicken Chefburgers, which we don't have here.
As I mentioned, there are many foods they sell in Russia that you won't easily find overseas. They have local fast food chains like Teremok, which sell delicious Russian foods like Blini stuffed with potato and bacon! There are more stuffed Blini recipes than I could ever imagine, best food ever! You will find favorites like Borsch Pelmeni dumplings and Olivye Potato Salad. There are also tasty Central Asian chains that sell Laghman, Plov, Chak-Chak and Shashlik. It was amazing having so much Russian foods available, the Aviapark food court has something for everyone.
AviaPark Mall in Moscow
At the time of visiting, AviaPark Mall is Europe's largest shopping mall. It's a six storey mall with a giant cylindrical aquarium. Sometimes you can even see scuba divers in the tank for maintenance. The mall holds a Guiness World record for the tallest cylindrical aquarium in the world. The area of the aquarium has a large glass roof, which looks great at night. It's a nice little feature to check out in the mall. AviaPark has 390,000 square metres of total space, which is over 4 million square feet. So not matter how you look at it, this is a large mall!
Shopping in Moscow
So what type of retail stores can you find in AviaPark? Well, there is a 2 storey IKEA in this mall, one of many in Russia. The layout is different from the large stand alone IKEA outlets you see, but the shopping centre version has all that you need. Auchan is the large Hypermarket I show in the video. It truly has more selection of foods in a single location than we have here in Australia. Watch the video for how they pay for their goods in Auchan, it's a bit different.
There are many clothing retailers you might recognize. The Finnish department store Stockmann is exactly what you'd expect a dept store to stock. Other clothing chains like H&M, Zara, GAP, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Adidas, Uniqlo, Decathlon, Sportsmaster are many names you might recognize. Of course lots of cosmetic companies too like MAC, Sephora and the Body Shop.
So before you ask if Russians can afford this mid-range stores to shop at, the answer should be obvious. No retailer can operate their business at a loss, and continue to remain in business. They wouldn't be open if people weren't buying. There are many more brands in different malls across Russia as well.
It's official! My Shopping in Moscow video has been accused of being Russian propaganda on YouTube. Some of the comments on YouTube are pretty funny. One of them says that the people in this video don't even look Russian! 🤯 That was probably my favorite comment, all the people in this video must be fake actors, hired to walk around a shopping centre while I filmed them!
It's unfortunate how many stereotypes about Russians still exist. There are people out there who believe all Russians are poor and can't afford to buy things. Stereotypes about Russians and communism, and they find it hard to believe Russians can have nice things. Some comments asked how Russians can afford to buy things in this expensive mall. One of the major anchors of this mall is IKEA, so not exactly high end. However, stereotypes exist.
Perhaps I was labelled as Russian propaganda because this video challenged some mistruths about Russia? I suppose that would be enough. Sometimes people want to see what they want to see, regardless of what they see! 😂
- VDNH - Restored Soviet Park in Moscow
- Russian Dacha Life
- Sochi Central Market
- Red Square - GUM Dept Store
This is just one of many shopping malls in Moscow suburbs. If you ever visited Russia, you might think of GUM Dept Store in Red Square, but that's not where the locals shop for their goods. Most of the malls in Russia are new and exactly what you should expect in a metropolitan city as large as Moscow. It's not the Soviet days.