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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luxury Goods to Go on Sale in Sochi

VedomostiPeople passing a Bosco shop in Moscow. The firm wants to make Sochi's Morskoi Vokzal a GUM-style shopping mall.
Just days after Sochi won the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, two of Russia's leading distributors of luxury goods confirmed that they would be setting up shop in the Black Sea resort, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Market leaders Bosco di Ciliegi and Mercury are looking to turn the southern hotspot into the country's second largest luxury goods market after Moscow, transforming the city into a sort of Rublyovka Riviera resplendent with boutiques selling top-end brands from Bentley to Bulgari.

President Vladimir Putin last week announced that $12 billion dollars would be pumped into the development of the Sochi area ahead of the 2014 Games and investors are already flocking to the popular summer and winter holiday destination.

Mercury, the company that manages Moscow's TsUM shopping mall, is to build a complex similar to Moscow's Barvikha Luxury Village just outside Sochi, general manager Alexander Reebok said, Vedomosti reported.

Construction on the development, which will include a five-star hotel, will start this year, with the first shop opening its doors in 2011, he said. Brands such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci will have boutiques in the complex.

Analysts put the total investment in the project at $60 million.

Meanwhile, Mercury's top-range competitor Bosco di Ciliegi, is set to turn Sochi's well-known Morskoi Vokzal into a shopping center along the lines of Moscow's GUM, which the company also runs. Work on the new complex should be finished by late 2008, a spokeswoman for Bosco di Ciliegi said.

The moves come despite claims last week that Sochi would not be turned into a playground for the super rich.