Luxury Stores in Moscow Shut Down

Low oil prices pose the biggest threat to Russia's economic stability.

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It was only a couple of years ago when analysts considered Russia to be the world's fourth-largest spender on luxury goods, behind the United States, Japan, and China. Big names setting up shop in Moscow included Tiffany, Prada, Versace, and Ferrari. But with today's global economic downturn and decline in oil prices, the most affluent Russians are tightening their grip on their wallets, demand for luxury goods is decreasing, and luxury retailers are closing their doors. With Russia's economy heavily dependent upon energy and commodities, low oil prices pose the biggest threat to the country's economic stability.

Designer brands like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Lanvin have recently announced that they are closing their stores in Moscow, according to the AP.

I wrote in December about how LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA shelved its plans for a Louis Vuitton flagship store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district and how Japanese consumers are increasingly trading down for designerlike goods at chain stores such as H&M and Zara. Same appears to go for Russian consumers: "I think the consuming will simply be redistributed," said Anastasia Pyatina, editor of the Russian magazine Cosmopolitan Shopping. "People who can't afford Stella McCartney and McQueen would be buying H&M, and this is not that bad."