Special to Retail-Details
Last week’s article on GUM in Moscow generated some unexpected intrigue. At least where the Blogger lives, there is a lack of awareness of luxury shopping in the Russian capital and readers have commented that thanks to the post, they have found their “new happy place”.
Although GUM is a luxury shopping mall, readers did ask about the leading luxury department store in Moscow, comparable to a Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys or Harvey Nichols. Behold, TSUM.
Located in central Moscow not far from its chief rival GUM, TSUM (rhymes with “gloom” but far from gloomy) affords luxury shoppers an intimate and personalized shopping experience. Housed in a formerly drab state department store, it is now one of the ultimate shopping destinations not only in Russia, but in all of Europe.
|Verber, with Naomi Campbell|
Verber’s socialite daughter Katia follows in her mother’s footsteps and makes her living as a buyer for Mercury, a luxury goods retailing conglomerate in Russia. (Verber is also a vice president for the Mercury group.) This article gives an astonishing look into just how mega-wealthy today’s Russia truly is, helps one understand the insatiability of their luxury consumer goods market, and explains TSUM’s critical role in the marketplace. For these women, the expression “dripping in furs” is more than mere phraseology and is actually an apt descriptor. For an even more jaw-dropping article on the super-league rich’s buying power, read this incredible piece on Russian luxury, which has extended far beyond the vulgar label of nouveau riche Eurotrash label that haunted the mega-wealthy in the mid-90s.
This clip gives a glimpse into TSUM’s VIP shopping area, emulating the personalized service one expects at Barney’s, Selfridges or Holt Renfrew. Such a space provides the shopper with an oasis within the store away from the madding crowds within which to take their time mulling over the latest couture while sipping $500 bottles of champagne.
To show that they are serious about luxury shopping and know their customers intimately, TSUM’s VIP experience includes contemporary art lectures in order to educate their wealthy clientele in fine art. It is not by accident that a number of their best clients are also serious and internationally-renown art collectors. This is not for the faint of wallet.
Russia has become serious in its bid to join the online shopping extravaganza. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Russian shopping magnate named KupiVIP received $55 million of fresh capital, with the specific goal of cultivating its online presence and generating online sales for high-end retailers such as TSUM. As Russia is new to e-commerce due to its long-held practice of cash-on-delivery purchase methodology, the introduction of online retailing for luxury brands is an exciting venture. A recent Reuters article reports that although the luxury goods industry has slowed down, the market is now in an upswing.
You can click for more information on TSUM here. Be aware though that TSUM has not yet developed its English-language site, but visitors can navigate the site simply by following the names of fashion designers referenced.