The Shopping Experience in Russia


The Russian Shopping Experience

There are two experiences when shopping for food in Russia. A Russian supermarket (in Russian – Суперма´ркет) is just like a Western one, no surprises here except for serious-looking guards at the entrance who might want to check the contents of your bags. One difference is that they provide lockers for bags which are not usually aloud while shopping. When you go to a “Big Box” shopping store it can be quite pleasent, wide aisles and lots of selection.

This is the “Big Box” experience.

Typical Shop (Магазин) Experience

This is the local grocery store (in Russian – Магазин)experience. They also provide lockers and will seal your purse or other bags that you take in, in plastic (Don’t open until you leave) In most of the smaller grocery stores shopping is much more difficult. Aisles are narrow and the selection is much smaller.

Compared to what supermarket’s were like during soviet times, things have come a long way.

To see more what thing were like during soviet times visit the following link.

In the following video, one gets to see what shopping is like at the open markets and vendors. The typical Russian Market is where you can buy clothes, underwear, footwear and accessories, all new. These types of markets were very popular after the collapse of the USSR, they sprung up under Perestroika during the  1990’s. They can be found in every major city in Russia.

20 thoughts on “The Shopping Experience in Russia

  1. Very interesting videos. A lot more like Wales than the US, although the streets of Calexico about 50ft from the border with Mexico look somewhat like the market. I can’t believe though, that you can get Lay’s chips in Moscow cheaper than in California! Hopefully that’s a different bag size or something was lost in the exchange rate….

    1. Remember it was filmed in 2013 so that might make a difference. I’ve been to Mexico and can confirm that, but never been to Wales. Would love to go though.

    1. Hello J.T., I went to your blog and couldn’t find a way to leave a comment. I spent a bit of time reading a couple of your posts, On constructive dialogue (a excellent post) I thought was very insightful. If I might share a bit of my own thoughts I’d say scientists often study their subject from afar. The best way to learn about Russia is to visit her. I’ve been here for 4 1/2 years and I’m still learning more than I ever thought I would. The people are always different than their politicians, my experience has shown me that Russians themselves are a very democratic people quite opposite the leadership. I’d like to carry on a dialogue with you concerning this if you are interested. Building bridges is the only way things will change.

      1. Oh! I’m sorry about the lack of comment function on the “on constructive dialogue” post. I enable comments manually after each post and it seems I forgot to do so there. If you would like, I’ll enable comments and we can continue our dialogue on that post.

      2. I can see that you’ve been studying U.S. – Russian affairs with an open mind. Out of curiosity what compelled you to direct your studies in this direction?

      3. Several factors, actually. My interest Russia began after I listened to some Russian-language folk songs and podcasts one day. I became fascinated with how the language sounded and resolved to learn its inner workings. It was only a matter of time before I started to explore Russian culture and society too, through books and websites such as Russia Beyond the Headlines. I also like to keep abreast of international news. As I was discovering my interest in Russia, the 2013 crisis in Syria was playing out with both US and Russian involvement. Vladimir Putin was being heavily demonized in the Western media despite his influential rule in the crisis’ resolution. So my interests expanded to include Russian politics and US-Russian relations. After the crisis in Ukraine flared up in 2014, I realized how high tensions between the US and Russia had become, how ill-informed and dismal US foreign policy toward Russia was, and how much misunderstanding existed between the two countries. So I decided to study Russia not only to understand it, but in the hopes that one day I might be able to work towards greater understanding/partnership between Russia and the US somehow. Will that day ever come? I don’t know.

      4. I believe it’s possible. I’ve personally traveled to many parts of Russia and have never heard a single Russian speak overly harsh about the USA. I’m always astonished by their warm-heartedness and openness. Have you considered visiting Russia? A first-hand experience is always the best. I also see that you’ve been blogging about Russian authors writing about Russia. Would you consider sharing your thoughts as a guest blogger on “Life in Russia”?

      5. “Have you considered visiting Russia?”
        Yes, many times. I would love to visit some of the more provincial cities, like Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa, Kazan and Chelyabinsk. Unfortunately, time and opportunities for me to visit Russia are few at the moment.
        I mostly do reviews of books by Western authors about contemporary Russia and rate their ability to inform the reader. After reading several posts on your blog, I’m not sure I could write something that would belong with them.

      6. J.T. that’s up to you. I’d enjoy having you as a guest blogger. The idea is to expose Americans as well as the rest of the world about what you are learning and share your thoughts. I would also encourage you to plug your blog, it’s always my intention to share and help others in their blogging efforts. Give it a thought and let me know.

  2. What a clever idea. Exactly what I wanted to see- just the everyday things , which are so fascinating when you come from somewhere different. Definitely going to see what other clips you have. I am starting to really open my eyes and realize that msm is presenting a very distorted picture of Russia. On my bucket list to visit and hope to get there within next 5 years. (From South Africa)

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