Another lockdown bastion down as duty free shops reopen: publishes new spending tracker for August 10–16

Aug 20, 2020

Last week, between August 10 and 16, spending in Russia resumed growth, and with unlocked international flights yet another quarantine bastion fell as practically all duty free shops reopened their doors, reads the new tracker on the analytical website

Spending on products and services added 0.7% y-o-y; however, a week before that, the metric was 2.6% lower y-o-y, and in early August it stood at minus 1%. This means that the demand has been almost flat for a second month in a row, which is also evidenced by the consumer activity index standing at 74.1, slightly below the July figures.

Businesses are reviving. On August 10–16, the number of points of sale grew 0.7% from February 2020. Figures look much better across all of the main categories, compared to a week before that: groceries (+8.0% vs 2019), non-food items (–1.9% vs 2019), and services (–3.3% vs 2019). International flights were becoming available again, and so were duty free shops where spending soared almost 50% over the week but was still 54% less y-o-y.

Services keep rebounding steadily. On August 10–16, the fall decelerated to 14.2% vs 2019 from –16.9% a week before that. Things got better because businesses are reopening their doors, and Russians are increasingly travelling inside the country. Albeit slowly, but spending is still growing across cafés and restaurants (–22.0% y-o-y) and beauty parlors (–19.0% y-o-y) as consumers get their normal lives back cautiously.

SberIndex analysts emphasized that spending was uneven in the last two weeks. Between August 3 and 9, spending was rather weak to rebound on August 10–16. Here are the categories with spending above 2019 figures: computers and software (+43.8%), department stores, including major online stores (+29.3%), and home appliances and electronics (+29.1%). The latter seems to have welcomed a part of the money people used to spend on services. For more details, please go to our tracker.

When publishing the materials, a reference to SberIndex ( is mandatory. is an analytical website by Sberbank that illustrates how life in Russia has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, you can find three key indexes on the website, all of them based on anonymized data. These are an incidence model, the consumer activity index, and consumer activity changes. The all-new Business section features the evolution of gross payroll and change in small business activity. The website also has other studies, including all SberData lab ones.