Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Small Business "Strip Malls" in Zhovti Vody

Small business in Ukraine is just that, small.  The next step up from a market stall is a small shop on a side street.  Tanya and I stopped at one such small shop on Saturday.  It is one of over a dozen small Ladies Wear stores in town; this one  located on Petrovskava St.  I don't know if it was new or if I just hadn't seen it before.

Petrovskava is lined with blocks of old two and three story flats, set back a dozen meters (mixed metaphor?) from the street.  Other streets may have newer 4, 6 or even 9 story blocks.  Entrances are always at the back, never on the street.

So to create a store, once one has done all the appropriate paper work and bribed all the appropriate officials to sign the documents, one buys a flat or two, guts them, except for load bearing walls, chops an entrance to the street and builds steps and a landing.  One shop may attract other shops and soon there are several of the bottom floor flats facing the street converted to shops, forming a strip mall Zholti Vody style.

Owner redecorates the front corresponding to the size of the store
 The store, Sofia's, is located in a single renovated flat, in three sections (former rooms), totaling about 30 to 35 sq meters (350 to 400 sq ft).  It carries along with women's clothing, a few handbags, a few toys and some stationery supplies. 

The sign isn't up yet. Name is on a paper on the door


  1. I find this sort of commerce interesting. At least it's not big box stores where everything is the same. I presume it's regular folk trying to make a living. Was the visit successful in ending in a purchase? Maybe you could barter farm produce for an article of clothing.

  2. As long as you don't have to take off your clothes too often in theses locations, it may be a win-win, for seller and customers.

    You did say is was a "strip" mall, didn't you?

    1. Barb, yes, Tanya bought a lovely blouse to replace one that was ruined by lily pollen. She used Vanish to take out the yellow stain and the combination ate holes in the cloth. She says lily pollen will do that. and trading is for teh market stalls not the shops.
      RB, in a ladies store only the ladies have to strip.

  3. This reminds me of how shops used to be here in small towns. The store downstairs and the owners apartment upstairs. Now you wouldn't believe the number of small shops that sit empty over here. Seems the Wal Marts and big box stores have just about finished off the mom and pops. Sorry I just can't see buying a suit in a "wearhouse".

  4. The returns per hour worked in the Mom and Pop shops were rarely much better than a Wal-Mart job. Like the market stalls, they served a purpose at one time, providing goods close at hand but no longer do. They cannot provide the variety of choices nor the prices of the large chains or the big box stores. People simply passed them by on their way to the larger centers and larger stores.

  5. Small shops in a small town. It was common for a far in the city like provinces.



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