Tatarstan’s consumer boom
In the centre of Kazan, Mintimer Shaimiev, president of Tatarstan, officially opens the $70 million new Park House shopping mall, set up by Austrian investors Meinl European Land. He tours the mall with a large retinue of advisers and journalists. Some of the shoppers watch and wave. Others simply concentrate on the main business at hand: shopping.
The Park House is the fifth-largest shopping mall to open in Kazan in the last 18 months. Kazan now has more square metres of shopping centre per capita than Moscow. It even has more than London. It is proof, if any were needed, that Russia’s consumer boom is in no way just confined to Moscow.
Ilsur Metshin, the young and dynamic mayor of Kazan, says: "We’re a city renowned for its history and culture, but we’re also a strong economic centre, and I see the most growth in the consumer sector."
Incomes in Kazan rose 20% last year, which is 8% higher than the Russian average.