Get the hot deals while they last! Whatever’s on your holiday shopping list—buy now, it may never be this cheap again! In a single day this past week, the ruble exchange rate dropped from 59 to 80 to the dollar, further eroding confidence in the Russian economy and ensuring a deep recession next year—but also briefly turning Moscow into the shopping capital of the world.
Although this past week’s currency crisis marked the worst fall for the ruble since Russia defaulted on its debt in 1998, no one was waiting in bread lines or starting a run on the bank. Instead, anyone with any cash at all went on a buying spree. Long lines snaked through Ikea branches around Moscow into the early hours of Wednesday morning as people picked up furniture, bedding and other household goods at what had suddenly become bargain-basement prices. Crowds of eager buyers emptied shelves of computer monitors and snapped up flat-screen televisions at consumer electronics chains.