Russia & Baltics Tours

Shopping in Saint-Petersburg

Shopping in Saint-Petersburg

Shopping in Saint-Petersburg

Saint-Petersburg is the 2nd largest and significant city after the capital of Russia – Moscow. So, Saint-Petersburg has a rather high rate of cost of living, but, at the same time, most of its citizens consider this city to be comfortable to live in. According to the statistics of 2016, the city was on the first place among the Russian ones with the most favorable living conditions. To compare with, Moscow was on the 5th place.

Nowadays, Saint-Petersburg has all the necessary facilities to have a rather good standard of living. Speaking about shopping, citizens have the choice where to buy: they can do it in the chain supermarkets or at the market places. There are a number of different supermarkets in St. Petersburg where people can buy everything they want: starting from food and drinks and ending by clothes, personal care items (personal hygiene items) and items of appliances.

There are about 800 such supermarkets in the city, and experts say that this is too much even for the city with the population of 5 million people. But, the prices in the supermarkets are rather low that every man can afford to buy everything he wants at any time (as most of the supermarkets are opened for 24 hours).

In contrast, the market places suggest citizens buy only food which is more expensive, but it is fresher and has a better quality than in the supermarkets. Usually, at the market places you can find different kinds of fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products.

The average prices for the products are the following: 1kg of beef is about 8$, 1 kg of chicken – 2,5$, 1 kg of apples – 1$, 1 kg of bananas – 1$, a pack of milk costs about 1$.

Nowadays, there are a lot of shopping malls and shopping centers which suggest people to buy items on different prices. There is no necessity to stand in a queue in order to buy something as there is a great choice for the customers. However, Russian people prefer to buy clothes and food abroad as it is cheaper (even if there are great sales in Russia) and the items have a much better quality if they have been bought abroad.  

But the situation has not always been the same. During the Soviet period it was very difficult to buy even food, not speaking about clothes, personal care items and items of appliance.

People could not afford themselves to make purchases every day: the goods were departed from time to time and they were of a limited size. So, people had to wait for when the shop would be opened and came to it 2-3 hours before its opening. The most welcome goods were the ones produced abroad, especially in the Baltic countries as they were considered to be of a better quality and were of different design from the Soviet- made.

The food was also it a short supply as well as of a worse quality. Meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy products were the rare things in the shops. When the food delivery was, the first ones who bought were the workers of the shop and their relatives and friends, and only then the common people were allowed to buy. As a result, the choice of the products and their quality were not of a high rate.