One in eight stores in Moscow's best shopping locations are empty thanks to the collapse of consumerism in Russia, according to a report by real estate agent Jones Lang LeSalle (JLL).
The vacancy rate on Moscow's main drags at the beginning of 2016 was 12.5%. Least affected were the central streets of Myasnitskaya (7.1%), Pyatnitskaya (7.9%) and the Oxford Street of Moscow, Tverskaya (7.4%), the report says.
According to JLL, annual rental rates on the most expensive shopping street in Moscow, Stoleshnikov Perulok are now RUB220,000 ($3,000) per square metre for premises typically sized 100-300 metres, about a fifth of the pre-crisis level. The second most expensive was Petrovka (RUB195,000) and then Kuznetsky Most (RUB180,000).
However, demand remains high for street-level retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, which make up 30% of the tenants in the city centre.
Retail has been whacked by a 9.5% fall in real incomes in 2015 that translated to a 15.3% fall in retail turnover in December, although retail sales have recovered somewhat in January with the rate of contraction in turnover falling to -7.3%.