Home improvement stores still open in Russia
Russia has also succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has now closed the borders to foreigners until 1 May 2020 for the present, with only certain exceptions. The issue of work visas is also being suspended. As of today, 23 March 2020, persons over the age of 65 must remain at home. All cinemashave also closed. However, the body coordinating the fight against the virus yesterday ruled out imposing a more stringent quarantine regime for the immediate future, including a ban on going outside in Moscow, the city most strongly affected. Schools in the capital have already closed. Only a few DIY chains are referring to the change in the situation on their websites. On the contrary, home improvement stores are not subject to any restrictions on opening hours, althoughstricter hygiene conditions apply than before. As in other countries, customers are being advised to take advantage of contactless options such as online chat facilities, telephone advice and naturally online shops. Stores are quickly being resupplied and there are no empty shelves. Prices have risen slightly in the last few weeks, which is related primarily to the weaker rouble. A slight drop in demand in the DIY sector is being explained by the fact that the population is currently spending more on other items. Regarding the current situation among DIY store operators in Russia, reports have reached us from Maxidom and Petrovich. These feature in a following news item.