Shopping centres & locations
Retail is the most dynamic business in Ukraine. At the same time distinguishing shopping cultures – as the parallel dimensions – coexist here.
The big cities are definite engines of civilized retail. You can find brands of famous international producers in the large shopping hubs (though the brands and goods range is still limited comparing with Europe and the U.S.) At the same time little shops and open-air clothes and shoes markets, selling products of indefinite origin, still exist. Elite boutiques are neighbours with the faceless junk outlets in the very centre of the capital – in Kreshchatyk street and Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
Frankly, due to low consumption capacity Ukraine is an area of smuggled, fake and overestimated goods. People working abroad or shuttling the U.S. or Europe prefer to shop on sales there.
Ukraine authentic mass market brands are few and often camouflage to be taken for the foreign ones. The local designers’ products are commonly present in upper-middle and premium price-segments – average Ukrainians can’t allow themselves to buy such clothes.
Kiev largest shopping hub is located close to Petrivka (Petrovka) subway station. It reaches the left bank of the Dnieper, Minska subway station and extends almost to Frunze street. Elite fashion outlets are concentrated in Kreshchatyk, Velyka Vasylkivska and Horkogo streets. Goods for kids are concentrated in and around “Dutyachyi svit” (“Kids World”) departments stores on “Darnytsa” subway station and Gnata Yury speed tram station on Borshchagivka.
Odessa has been Mecca for design clothes and shoes addicts since Soviet times. Nowadays some fashion-conscious still come there for shopping even from Moscow.
We can’t stand from mentioning some more very peculiar shopping locations.
Kiev (Kyiv), Andriivsky uzviz
Andriivsky uzviz is a historical heart of the capital, so called Kyiv's Montmarte. Souvenirs, paintings, art fotos, ethnic handicrafts and stock articles of Soviet epoch are presented there. Goods are shine, loud and corresponding to the European price range. The sophisticated merchants are able to charge you in line with your buying power at a glance.
Odessa, “Privoz” market
The most famous market throughout ex-USSR, located on Privoznaya street, close to the central railway station. Since the 2nd half of 19 century has been a place, where “you can buy anything: from a nail till a bomb”. That is more than just a market, but cultural dimension. Privoz has its peculiar jargon, jokes and tales. Some famous Soviet writers used to walk along its malls to collect ideas and details for their stories. Haggling is a “must” ritual here, being considered as conventional communication style.
Odessa, “Barakholka” (The flea market next to Starokonniy market).
The ground, where you can buy anything: domestic articles, books, clothes, military uniform and signs, gramophone and vinyl discs, tinsel and other items, dated from the Tsar epoch up to Communism period.
Flea markets in Kiev
Kiev flea market on metro Nyvky can hardly resemble the one in Odessa. Nevertheless you can find some funny things there on Saturday morning. In opposite to the shining flea stuff on Andriivsky uzviz (aligned with the European tourists' taste), here you find things, keeping spirit of their previous, active, life.
Some second hand stuff (of more practical purpose, but sometines - of some historical collection value) is offered on Kurenivsky market on week ends.
A few useful tips for shoppers in Ukraine:
* There is rather developed legislation that defends a consumer’s rights. Keep your payment receipts – consumer goods of many categories may be given back to a shop within 2-week term if you found a deficiency or just didn’t like it.
* All goods in Ukraine contain taxes that are not to be extra charged, as in USA.
* Ukraine is not a member of the tax free refund convention.
* International credit cards are acceptable in all big or branded retail outlets and shopping centres. You are definite to pay in cash on the markets and in majority of small private outlets.
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