17:08 GMT +314 November 2019
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    The Cadillac luxury class area at the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012 at the Crocus Expo Exhibition Center

    Hey Big Spender! Russia's Luxury Goods ‘Are in Demand Despite Crisis'

    © Sputnik / Ruslan Krivobok
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    According to recent reports, Chinese tourists spent almost $1 billion in Moscow in 2015.

    Despite the economic slowdown, the sale of luxury goods in Russia is going well. The number of Chinese tourists in Russia increased by at least one third in 2015, with many of them buying up Russia's luxury goods like never before.

    According to Anush Gasparyan, commercial director of Fashion Consulting Group, the explanation for the trend is quite simple. Over the past year the yuan exchange rate against the ruble has almost doubled. Moreover, there is a very high tax on luxury goods in China and the prices for them are almost 70% higher than in Europe.

    "So it would be logical to assume that buying luxury goods [in Russia] has become more advantageous for residents of China," Gasparyan said.

    According to the entrepreneur, today's prices for luxury goods are quite similar in Russia and Europe. In previous years luxury goods in Russia were 20-30% more expensive than in European countries, but now Russian retailers have lowered prices.

    "On the Internet, one can buy these products at European prices via online retailers which have proven to be reliable," Gasparyan explained.

    Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Verbitsky also confirmed that the increased demand for luxury goods, and especially for luxury cars, is quite understandable.

    "In Russia, cars are now cheaper than anywhere else in the world," Verbitsky said. "Before the crisis, a car cost one million rubles which was equivalent to 28 thousand dollars. Recently, the car price has risen up to 1.25 million. And this is only 16 thousand dollars. Thus, the benefits are evident."


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