Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to the closure of many Western stores, such as Apple Stores and McDonald’s restaurants, in Russia. To have a stock of foreign currency again, the government has therefore decided to put in place a system dating back to the Soviet Union: duty-free shops selling Western products, like Beriozka shops, reports The Guardian.
From the fall, it will therefore be possible to find untaxed products imported from the West in these shops. It will mainly be about what can be bought in airport duty-free, namely alcohol, tobacco, jewellery, cosmetics, perfume and sweets. Phones and watches will also be sold, although it’s currently unclear which brands will be offered. All these products can be paid for in foreign currency, such as euros or dollars.
Stores reserved for certain customers
Like the Beriozka chain of stores, at the time, these new stores will also be reserved for a certain clientele, namely foreign diplomats, employees of an international organization and their family members. These stores will be owned by a company created by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and another company not yet chosen.
At the same time, the departure of many Western brands continues in Russia. At the beginning of July, Ikea had launched a last online sale in the country before its final departure. More recently, it was the Swedish clothing brand H&M which organized a final destocking sale this week before closing its stores definitively, generating long queues.