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Moscow's TsUM Creating China-Friendly Store to Grow Profits

Mercury, the luxury brand distributor that manages Moscow's TsUM department store, is developing a tourist shopping tour to increase the number of Chinese customers, the RBC news website reported Thursday.

TsUM is conducting negotiations with Chinese tour companies, the Russian Intourist travel operator and the World Without Borders travel association, the store's general director Alexander Pavlov told RBC.

The share of Chinese customers in TsUM currently totals 7 percent, Pavlov said, adding that he expects this figure to reach 30 percent within two to three years.

In order to attract Chinese shoppers, TsUM is working on creating China-friendly environment in the store. Twenty-five of the store's employees speak Chinese and some of the store's advertising is available in Chinese. The store plans to hire more Chinese-speaking staff.

According to Russia's federal tourism agency Rostourism, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia is increasing rapidly. In the first nine months of 2015, 583,600 Chinese tourists traveled to Russia, 63 percent more than in the same period last year, RBC reported.

In Moscow alone, Chinese visitors spent between $800 million and $1 billion last year, Vladimir Chernikov, the head of the capital's inter-regional relations and tourism department said Wednesday, according to Interfax.

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