Vedomosti quoted Harvey Nichols chief executive Joseph Wan as saying the department store chain has resumed a search for a site in Moscow after the credit crunch broke off years of skyrocketing real estate prices.
"I hope we will soon have something to tell," Wan told Vedomosti, adding that Harvey Nichols is now considering building a minimum 15,000-square meter department store in the center of Moscow or leasing space in an existing mall.
Harvey Nichols first expressed interest in the Russian market in 2005 at a time of consumer boom which was fuelled by high oil export revenues and growing disposable incomes. Russian property prices had also soared every year since 2000 with prices in central Moscow being among the highest in the world. But since the global crisis broke out in August 2008, Moscow commercial real estate prices have fallen by up to 50 percent. Global retailers, many of whom missed their chance to expand on Russia are now taking steps to enter a sector which still has more growth potential than mature markets despite a downturn.