Not Only Buckwheat: What Russians Buy During A Pandemic

Not Only Buckwheat: What Russians Buy During A Pandemic
Not Only Buckwheat: What Russians Buy During A Pandemic

Video: Not Only Buckwheat: What Russians Buy During A Pandemic

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According to the latest poll by VTsIOM on March 19, 54% of Russians are of the opinion that a coronavirus epidemic is unlikely in our country. 61% of citizens are more or less confident that Russian medical and epidemiological services will be able to protect the population from the spread of infection in the event of a real threat. The share of those who consider the likelihood of infection high, since the beginning of February, when the coronavirus was an urgent problem only for Asian countries, has remained practically unchanged: it is 10 against 8%. Nevertheless, streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg are noticeably empty. Every day more and more people are switching to remote work and do not appear on the street for no apparent reason.

Shopping trips, like excursions to museums or meetings at the bar, are moving into a virtual format. This also applies to grocery stores, sports chains, mono-brand boutiques and fashion retailers. Thus, TSUM has seen a significant increase in online traffic since the beginning of March, exceeding the planned indicators by more than 20%. The department store itself associates this not only with the introduction in the capital of a mandatory two-week quarantine upon returning from abroad and the voluntary self-isolation of citizens during a pandemic, but also with the anti-crisis measures taken by it.

Firstly, despite the slight revision of prices due to the change in the exchange rate, it is still more profitable to buy clothes, shoes and accessories in TSUM than in Europe. This is also due to the fact that the collections of the department store are not subject to the duty, which from January 1 is provided for purchases over € 200 in foreign online stores. Secondly, TSUM pays close attention to the safety of its employees and customers: couriers deliver orders in disposable gloves and face shields. They are also worn by employees working directly in the department store. All of them were instructed on the prevention and spread of coronavirus: they do not use public transport, replacing it with a corporate taxi, observe a two-week quarantine when returning from trips, and also monitor the disinfection of spaces, corners and TSUM offices.At the entrance to the department store, there are special boxes with screens, masks and gloves, which you can use for free.

Photo: TSUM
Photo: TSUM

© TSUM

As representatives of TSUM note in a conversation with, one of the most popular categories of goods among their customers is now cozy clothes for home and rest. For example, sales of jersey T-shirts and trousers doubled compared to February and the same period in 2019, while sales of pajamas and robes - by 200%. The leaders in this area are the brands that offer leisure wear alongside the runway collections: Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and Burberry.

Balenciaga T-shirt
Balenciaga T-shirt

1 of 11 Balenciaga T-shirt © TSUM Burberry Jumper © TSUM Burberry Pants © TSUM Burberry Hoodie © TSUM Dolce & Gabbana Shorts © TSUM Burberry Shorts © TSUM Burberry Hoodie © TSUM Balenciaga Shorts © TSUM Longsleeve Burberry © TSUM Dolce & Gabbana Shorts © TSUM Dolce & Gabbana Shorts © TSUM Dolce & Gabbana Shorts TSUM

At the same time, Russians are in no hurry to buy slippers: sneakers remain the most popular footwear during a pandemic. The top five top selling brands in this category in March are Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Balenciaga and Off-White. Virgil Abloh, as well as designers Heron Preston, A Bathing Ape and Marcelo Burlon, is just as active in buying face masks. In the first two weeks of March, during which information was received about the first cases of coronavirus infection in the capital, more than 100 masks were sold at TSUM, which exceeds the traditional demand by five times. Off-White masks were also sold out in the KM20 concept store.

Bape mask
Bape mask

1 of 6 Mask Off-White © TSUM Mask Bape © TSUM Mask Heron Preston © TSUM Mask Off-White © TSUM Mask Bape © TSUM

Despite the forced changes in lifestyle, women are still actively investing in bags: compared to March 2019, their sales in TSUM increased by 300%. The most popular are models from the collections of Loewe and Bottega Veneta: these brands managed to exceed their last year's figures for the same period by 400%. The department store explains this by the fact that consumers react to information coming from third-party sources about possible interruptions in supplies from abroad, so they want to have time to purchase the main novelties of the season. However, items from the spring-summer collections of world brands arrive at TSUM according to the planned schedule: most of them are already available for purchase offline and online.

Loewe Bag
Loewe Bag

1 of 10 Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM Loewe bag © TSUM Loewe bag © TSUM Loewe bag © TSUM Loewe bag © TSUM Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM Bottega Veneta bag © TSUM

Aizel also notes an increased demand for seasonal novelties: shirts, jeans, dresses, jumpers, skirts, sneakers and trainers. In addition, customers of the marketplace confidently buy things designed for walking in a cool spring: coats, trench coats, boots and low shoes. The only thing that has changed in the face of the pandemic is the drop in sales in the beachwear category. Russia has introduced a ban on air travel with other countries, which means that sandals, swimwear, swimming trunks and shorts will not be useful to citizens soon.

Balenciaga Sneakers
Balenciaga Sneakers

1 of 6 Wandler mules © press service Dress Simone Rocha © press service Trench Acne Studios © press service Balenciaga Coat © press service Dress No.21 © press service Balenciaga Sneakers © press service

Shopping at Aizel, according to company representatives, is currently beneficial and safe. The marketplace keeps prices for the current collections at the old rate, and also offers discounts on certain product groups. The asymmetrical lightweight Simone Rocha dress is 20% cheaper, the Balenciaga neon yellow double-breasted coat is 50% cheaper, the Wandler pink leather mules are 60% cheaper and the # 21 V-neck dress is 95% cheaper. Most of the items are available both in the Aizel online store and in the boutique, which complies with the instructions of the Moscow health department and Rospotrebnadzor. All employees returning from foreign trips undergo a two-week quarantine, and the management monitors compliance with sanitary requirements, including disinfection of premises.

The Bosco di Ciliegi company, in a conversation with, explains that it does not sell essential goods, so it does not notice the surge in interest in certain groups of goods. Representatives of the retailer comment on the situation with the pandemic and the crisis as follows: “GUM's traffic has significantly decreased, but despite this we still maintain the old rate in all the stores of the Bosco Di Ciliegi group of companies, we do not plan to change prices. In addition, we invite loyalty card holders to Bosco Prive and to all our stores at a specific time in order to pay maximum attention to each client."

The stability of consumer demand is also noted by the commercial director of Lamoda, Alexandra Artyushkina. One of the categories of goods that continues to be popular with the audience of the Internet retailer despite the pandemic and crisis is shoes. This is largely due to the fact that it can be tried on before purchasing it right in the Lamoda app. In the summer of 2019, the company, in partnership with Belarusian startup Wannaby, launched augmented reality technology, digitizing dozens of pairs of shoes available on the site, including from the brands Timberland, Reebok, Nike and adidas.

The increased interest, according to Alexandra Artyushkina, is observed not so much in fashionable novelties as in toys, household goods and sports equipment. Over the past weekend, the most active buyers were mugs, children's designers, yoga mats, resistance bands, water bottles and weights. They, like any other items on the site, can be ordered with a contactless delivery option. In this case, the courier will leave the parcel at the door, move 3 m, and only then will he call the customer. If the customer chooses to purchase with a preliminary fitting, then the sales representative will wait outside the door for another 15 minutes. The option works not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The company talks about other measures taken to combat the spread of coronavirus on a special landing page. There are also live broadcasts with Russian bloggers, each of whom calls: "Stay at home.">

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