In the last week of September footfall in Russian shopping malls increased for the first time in a month, according to data compiled by Russian retail intelligence company, Watcom.
The 0.1-point increase in Watcom’s shopping index, which uses people counting devices to measure shopping activity in malls, represented the first, albeit small, increase since the end of August.
As the first bne:Chart shows, the index has been in a steady decline over the last couple of years, falling from a year-to-date 2013 average of 562 to a 2015 average of 499 across the same period.
The decline comes at a time where Russian real wages have declined for 10 consecutive months, with the squeeze seemingly taking its toll on Russians’ willingness to part with their earnings on the non-essential items that tend be sold in malls.
Despite representing a 25-point, week-on-week increase in the index, the last week of August this year was still 30% down on the same point two years earlier, as shown in the second bne:Chart.
Aside from the first and eleventh weeks of this year, every single week’s data have shown a decline in shopping mall footfall compared to 2014.