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Russian Consumers Still in Shock as They Cut Back on Food and Medicine

  • June retail sales shrank for record 18th month, survey shows
  • Russians save on medicine, buy less food as recession lingers
Almost a third of Russians now buy less food than before.

Almost a third of Russians now buy less food than before.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on

With stores from near the Arctic to the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, Magnit PJSC would be the first to know when the Russian consumer is back. Instead, the nation’s largest supermarket chain has just come across something it’s never seen.

Billionaire Sergey Galitskiy’s retailer, which operates almost 13,000 outlets in Russia, said the average purchase has fallen for the first time since it began disclosing the figures a decade ago, dropping 1.5 percent in the first half of 2016 from a year earlier. Retail sales in June shrank for a record 18th month, plunging 5.9 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said on Tuesday.