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These days, shopping is a national sport in Moscow. Locals shop in brand new mega-malls, revamped department stores, designer boutiques, and busy food markets. Display windows in parts of historical shopping districts in downtown Moscow, such as pereulok Stoleshnikov, Kuznetsky Most, and proyezd Tretyakovsky, are filled with brands like Herm├Ęs, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Brioni, Prada, and Fendi.

Big emporia such as GUM showcase midrange Western brands like Levi's and Nike. Russian designers also have a presence: some names to look for include Alena Akhmadullina, Alexander Terekhov, Igor Chapurin, Denis Symachev, Kira Plastinina, and Sultanna Frantsuzova. If you're simply on the hunt for souvenirs, the best bets are shops in the Arbat district or the Izmailovsky Flea Market in the Eastern Outskirts.

Stores are generally open Monday through Saturday 10 to 7, and many are open seven days a week; shopping malls are open daily from 10 or 11 in the morning to 9 or 10 at night. Some specialty stores and many supermarkets may operate 24/7.