Monday, January 16, 2006

National shopping

Still haunted by the spectre of empty shelves 15 years after the collapse of communism, Russia is in the midst of a full-blown love affair with retail. Luxury, bling, opulence and grandeur are the watchwords. New Moscow is all about new money.

Gone are the five-hour queues outside drab supermarkets. As well as a wealthy elite, there is a growing professional middle class that barely existed three years ago, and the emphasis is on living for the day.

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