There's no way Zara and H&M have wiped out the entire shopping industry
January 20, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Where do all the "normal" people shop in Moscow? The only places that I've found are glitzy marble malls with Western brands and inflated prices... looking for not just clothing, but (open) markets to wander around selling random day to day items, crafts, etc. Also, not necessarily with a purpose to shop but to also just immerse with local day to day living. I've been scouring the internet to find markets where local people shop, but it seems like there was a huge crackdown last year by the government and now everything's been closed.

The only one I can find that seems to still be open is Izmaylovo Market, but it seems more tourist-centric with souvenirs rather than day to day. Again, not really clothes but just random items you can find in a market place. Clothes, electronics, accessories.

Some other specific questions:
- it's winter, everyone's wearing a fur hat, but there's no way everyone simply hits up the TSUM or Evropeisky and drops 20,000ruble/over $600 for a hat... right??! Where could I go to find more reasonably priced fur hats?

- is there an area or any markets where I could find hair/salon accessories? Looking for heated hair rollers

I've been living in Moscow for at least two months now, and am just having a heck of a time trying to get my head out of just touristy sites and transitioning to more day to day local living. I've lived in multiple major cities throughout Asia and Australia and always found it easy to discover local markets and shopping areas. Or, Moscow really IS expensive and I have to reset what my standard of "normal" prices are. So any other tips about where locals go would be greatly appreciated!
posted by peachtree to Shopping (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
do you have some local friends by now ? I would ask them . Places that are less expensive might not have means to advertise , but local people would know .
Yes , fur hat is so expensive ! but it is also cold... When I lived in Russia ( St.- Petersburg ) , it was a big deal to buy a winter hat , I wished I won't have to buy it . But what I could do without some warm hat ?
posted by Oli D. at 1:04 PM on January 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Markets. There a large markets where cheapo Turkish and Chinese clothes are piled up and people buy them.
posted by k8t at 2:05 PM on January 20, 2012

For electronics and accessories, you can get some awesome deals in Gorbushka, or at least you could in 2006-7.

In general, I found lots of affordable clothing and shops clustered around metro stops in open-air markets. There was also plenty of clothing, goods, and fruit at Cherkizovsky, but as always in Moscow, be careful; I was there when it blew up.

In smaller cities there is often a central outdoor market surrounded by smaller shopping centers. In Obninsk, it was Akseonovo square, which was an open-air market with food, fruit, and all imaginable household goods, and surrounding that were computer parts stores, grocery stores, etc.

I had a lot of luck asking around. People were concerned with where to find things and were concerned with helping me find things. Your friends will be the best resource on this.
posted by fake at 2:12 PM on January 20, 2012

Ack! I also came here to suggest Cherkizovsky, but according to the link above it's been closed for good. What a terrible shame. It was a fantastic place - an endless sea of every conceivable kind of merchandise in mind-boggling quantities and some of the best (and cheapest) food stalls on earth.

Dorogomilovsky, a market near the Kiyevsky rail terminal (Kievskaya metro), is more food-specific, more expensive, and much smaller, but is still worth seeing. (If it still exists, that is.)

Also, though it isn't exactly daily-life shopping, and may seem obvious, the shops in the VDNKh can be fun to explore, and the setting is surreal and amazing. Definitely touristy, but with more national tourists buying international knickknacks than the opposite.

Outside of that, try looking around near transit hubs out beyond the second ring road. Anecdotally, minibus hubs and cheap clothes and housewares tend to hang out together. Or ask your Shawarma dealer where he buys his shoes, and come back to tell us about any good finds.
posted by eotvos at 4:57 PM on January 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Outdoor markets are definitely the way to go, but I think you're right that they are disappearing in Moscow. I was going to suggest Luzhniki, but it looks like it may have been shut down last year.
That article lists a couple of markets they say are still in business in the southwest of the city.

I've been to a mall, I believe this one, at the fringe of the city - that contained goods that were not cheap, but were cheaper than in the city center. Stockmann's in particular I remember as being useful. But these malls offer more Western-style brands - you can see some store names you might recognize in the list to the left - so might not be as interesting to you just for browsing.
posted by scrambles at 9:32 PM on January 20, 2012

I emailed my dad about this -- he lived in Moscow for 12 years, and for the past five or six has been visiting for at least a month out of the year, as he still manages a few rental properties.

He said:
Unfortunately they have managed to shut all of the major markets in Moscow - people are related to stores for the most part now.  Most of the locals looking for bargains go to the big super stores like Ashan or Globus - the best ones are in the big malls on the Moscow ring road.  One of the best places to buy fur hats is at Izmalovo.
(Ismalovo being a more tourist-oriented market we used to visit together when I came to Moscow to see him.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:56 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or, Moscow really IS expensive and I have to reset what my standard of "normal" prices are.

Yep, Moscow is just plain expensive. For hair appliances I would go to Media Markt or Gorbushka, although with the latter it's hard finding exactly what you need because everything's arranged in random kiosks with shifty salesmen.

There's a bigger mall up northwest called Metropolis that has some more clothing choices, but yeah, it's mostly just H&M and Zara.
posted by side effect at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2012

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