Luxury goods sales soar in Russia amid sanctions

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Luxury goods sales soar in Russia amid sanctions
Luxury goods sales soar in Russia amid sanctions
5 March, 14:42EconomyPhoto: Getty
While ordinary people were buying plush sharks at Ikea, the rich stormed Bvlgari and Rolex boutiques.

Panic shopping in Russia is observed in all segments, the CAN Luxary website reports with reference to Bloomberg. Wealthy people are no exception: Western sanctions are driving the ruble down, and financially wealthy Russians are buying up luxury jewelry and watches in an attempt to maintain their savings.

Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said that Russian stores are growing in sales: "In the short term, this has helped grow the business". According to Babin, this is quite understandable: goods sold in brand boutiques are a reliable investment. In times of financial turmoil, gold and jewelry have always been a lifesaver for those wishing to save depreciating capital. The resale market for luxury watches is also booming, with such items being sold on the secondary market for several times the purchase price.

Many Western mass-market manufacturers have closed their stores in Russia. However, Europe's biggest luxury brands, including Bvlgari, Cartier, Omega and Rolex, continue to operate. “We are here for the Russian people, not for politicians”, - says Bobin. “We operate in many countries that are going through periods of uncertainty and tension.” But how long the doors of the boutiques will be open is hard to say. “If sanctions are implemented in full, exports to Russia could be difficult, if not closed completely”, - Bobin admits.

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