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Masks, Sofas & TVs Top Russians’ 2020 Shopping Lists

Stay-at-home items proved, unsurprisingly, to be the most popular consumer goods of the year.

Running shoes, bicycles and games consoles were also among the most popular consumer goods of the year. Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

Face masks, sofas and televisions were the most in-demand consumer goods in Russia this year, according to online sales data.

Demand for masks was seven times higher than in 2019, data from online classified ads site Avito cited by the Vedomosti business daily showed.

Russians preferred single-use masks to reusable ones, Avito found, with disposable face coverings accounting for 56% of all mask purchases.

Sofas and TVs were the second and third most popular consumer goods this year, with demand up for both by more than a fifth. Fridges, games consoles, laptops and computer desks also made the top-10 as millions of Russians kitted out their homes and apartments for months spent working from home.

Demand for bicycles and running shoes — also among the year’s most popular items — surged during May and June, Avito said, as Russia exited a monthlong lockdown which, on paper, had banned Russians from going outside even to exercise.

Consumer spending plunged at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring after President Vladimir Putin imposed a monthlong non-working period in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Retail sales dropped by a quarter and have remained stubbornly below pre-crisis levels, even as shops remain open and Moscow shuns a fresh lockdown despite setting record numbers of new infections and deaths.

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