Good news for forgetful travelers: Russia's most iconic weapons maker, Kalashnikov, has opened a flagship souvenir store in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Located on the concourse connecting the Aeroexpress station to the main terminals, the store features full-scale models of Kalashnikov assault rifles, branded clothing, and related kitsch.
The store is part of Kalashnikov's effort to move into the world of civilian merchandising. The company two years ago rebranded and launched a concerted effort to maximize its profit potential by leveraging its recognizable name. The effort was in part prompted by Western sanctions, which cut Kalashnikov off from a planned expansion into the lucrative American civilian arms market.
“Kalashnikov is one of the most popular brands that come to mind when people think of Russia,” the company's marketing director, Vladimir Dmitriyev, said at the store's opening ceremony on Friday. “So we are pleased to provide everyone with an opportunity to take home a souvenir with our brand on it,” he said, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The event was also
used to launch a new clothing line. The apparel is aimed at hunters,
and is sold under the company's Baikal hunting rifle brand. The line
will feature three hunting outfits, costing an average of 25,000
rubles ($390) each, as well as jackets and a variety of themed
accessories, RIA reported.