Russia’s shopping footfall index accelerated again in the 35th week of the year as consumer confidence begins to return on the back of falling inflation and gradually recovering real incomes, according to the Watcom Shopping index.
The data, released by Moscow-based Watcom, a consultancy that measures shopping activity in malls using 3D camera technology, showed that the index in the last week before September 1 grew by 6% equal the same week’s index a year earlier, and was only 3.1% below the same week of 2014.
Watcom chairman Roman Skorokhodov said: “Footfall has recovered to its pre-crisis levels. This is the result of people adaptating to the new realities as well as the aggressive marketing campaigns by shopping centers and retailers. People’s lives are returning to normal. They are spending less, but visiting more places in search of a good deal.”
The shopping index continued to rise despite the ongoing contraction in retail turnover, the pace of which slowed again in July, was down by 5% in August from a 5.8% contraction in July year-on-year.
Consumption is still far away from becoming a driver of economic growth, but the recovery in incomes is directly visible in the shopping footfall index which has been boosted by the “back to school” seasonal shopping bump that happens at the start of every September.