American-style malls are cropping up in Siberia, and gobbling up land, to enable once-isolated Russians to consume in ways that might have been unimaginable a generation ago.
"Siberia, where Russians waited in long lines to buy food with ration cards not long ago, is the improbable epicenter of a huge mall boom. As retail businesses shrink in the United States, provincial Russian towns like this one have become targets of retailers and shopping center developers from around the world. Malls in this area are even poaching managers from as far away as California."
"Across the great expanse of Russia - on plots cleared of birch groves and decrepit factories, on the territory of old airports and collective farms - big-box stores are rising at a rate of several a month. Russia is projected to open twice as much mall space as any other European country this year, and Europe will open more shopping centers this year than ever."