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Retail News

Harvey Nichols to Open in Moscow?

The iconoclastic British store, Harvey Nichols, is looking to open a store in Moscow. Two board members have been here to research the possibility of a new store after identifying a new wave of Russian ”big spenders” in the Knightsbridge store in London which has taken on Russian-speaking staff. A spokesman for the store said, “They do not come to Britain to see the sights. They come to shop, and they pay in cash.” In mid-August, the London store’s Fifth Floor Bar re-opened in collaboration with Stolichnaya vodka, with a striking new make-over in celebration of its 15th anniversary. In one corner is an intimate ”Toasting Room” for eight people, which pays tribute to one of the most sociable Russian cultural traditions: vodka toasting, allowing guests to taste the food and spirit together, which makes for an authentic gastronomic experience.

Soup Is a Unique Subculture

In preparation for launching their famous brand of canned soups in Russia, Campbell’s is undertaking a PR campaign to win over Russian consumers. While Russia has an established cognac and cigars niche, the culture that the soup company set out to position itself is in embodying ‘real values’ such as family, harmony, warmth and coziness. All of these values are close to each person in any country. In early September Campbell gathered noted experts and judges of soups to discuss the unusual and surprising topic of ”great soup cultures”. Is soup a global dish, and should we speak about soup as a beacon of world culture? All these and many other questions were addressed by Alexander Gavrilov, moderator of the round table and Chief Editor of Knizhnoe obozrenie newspaper and radio host.

Music Website Promises a Replay

The controversial music download website has pledged to resume operations after a Moscow court cleared former owner Denis Kravsov of illegally selling copies of copyrighted recordings via the site. drew U.S. anger for allowing cut-rate downloads of Western pop music; but Kravsov was acquitted on intellectual piracy charges in August. By month‘s end the site carried an announcement, “The service will be resumed in the foreseeable future. We are doing our best at the moment to ensure that all our users can use their accounts, top up balance and order music.” U.S. offi cials made the site a key issue in talks over Russia’s joining the World Trade Organization. The court criticized Moscow police and “the investigator’s extremely careless attitude in collecting evidence,” Interfax reported..

Mega Opens First Internet Café

Ikea-owned Mega shopping centers have opened their first Internet Café in Mega Khimki. Located next to the entrance to Stockman’s and beside the new Starbuck’s Café, the Icafé operates from 10:00 to 22:00. Customers pay from 70 rubles to access the service which is operated by MoscomNet, one the largest suppliers of paid public Internet access in Moscow. It is believed that if successful, the pilot project in Mega Khimki will be extended to the other two locations in the Moscow region, Mega Teply Stan and Mega Belye Dacha, before being rolled out to other regional cities. MoscomNet, which supplies Internet access to leading Moscow hotels including the three Marriott’s as well as the popular expat dining establishment, Starlite Diner, has demonstrated a keen interest in expanding outside Moscow. Since early 2007 it has been providing Internet access to the Pacific Hotel on Sakhalin Island and has become the first Russian broadband operator to use satellite links to provide public Internet access.

Malina Expands with 4 New Brands

Malina, the leading coalition customer loyalty program in Moscow, has announced that four new brands have joined the marketing alliance. Over 1.2 million Moscow families are members of the program and gain points when using their card and making purchases of products or services from Ramstore, Beeline, 36.6 pharmacies, BP, Rosinter Restaurants, Ile de Beaute cosmetics chain and Raiffeisenbank. Now UBC owned LeFutur gift shops and Bagatelle interior design items shops, together with Mone beauty salons will also reward Malina card holders for purchases. The online retailer will join the scheme and start issuing points to Malina members starting in November. The Malina program was launched in April 2006 and has issued over 6 billion points to date through 510 retail outlets in Moscow conducting over 2.5 million Malina transactions weekly.

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