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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Gift Shopping Muscovites: Spending More to Buy Less

Despite economic hard times, Muscovites piled into retail stores and bar-raged kiosks Tuesday to purchase their last-minute gifts to celebrate the New Year in traditional Russian fashion. Established retailers and makeshift entrepreneurs agreed that profits were up this year over previous years. But high-priced Western-made goods - unavailable in the past - outpaced lower-end, more affordable gifts. Muscovites, struggling to celebrate their New Year's in style, found themselves spending more this year to buy less. ""Last year was different"", said Irina Dunyeva, standing inside a new store near GUM filled with Mickey Mouse dolls, stuffed animals, snazzy decorations and leather coats. ""There were no toys like this. Now there is a better choice, but financially it is more difficult"". Nowhere is the dividing line between the struggling poor and thriving rich more apparent than inside GUM, once a showcase for shoddy Communist products and now a glitzy palace filled with consumer goods.
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