Nikolskaya street in Moscow, leading from Red Square to Lubyanka, has always been a tourist destination, but at the same time was in the shadow of more popular locations - Old Arbat, Tverskaya, Kuznetsky Most, Stoleshnikov alley. Organizers of the World Cup in football also did not give her any special role, defining the main place for fans to relax fan zone on the Sparrow Hills. However, it was Nikolskaya that suddenly became the main point on the football map of Moscow - fans of all teams arriving in Russia gather here and organize a real carnival.
Nikolskaya turned into a football center in Moscow, primarily because of its location, said Irina Ilina, director of the Institute for Regional Studies and Urban Planning of the Higher School of Economics. Any foreigner who came to Moscow wants to visit Red Square first. But the square itself has a special status, and there are no catering points on it. In addition, in the first days of the championship entrance to Red Square was closed - dismantled the construction that remained after the concert in honor of the Day of Russia on June 12. The fans, deployed by the police, stayed at Nikolskaya, settling in bars and cafes, explains Ilyina.
As a result, the street has become an informal gathering place for fans and all who want to feel the atmosphere of the holiday. This is indicated by an analysis of press reports and social networks. If from June 7 to 11, Nikolskaya was mentioned 651 times in the Russian media, and 15.8 thousand times in Russian social networks, significantly "losing" to Arbat (1,3 thousand and 26,1 thousand messages respectively), then after the beginning of the tournament , from June 14 to June 18, the number of her mentions in the mass media has grown three-fold, and in social networks - more than double, according to Medialogy. Mentioned Arbat in the World Cup days, on the contrary, declined.
How to eat and drink on Nikolskaya
The owners of cafes and restaurants celebrate "wild" revenue growth, said head of the department of trade and services of Moscow Alexei Nemeryuk. "Even those companies that do not broadcast football matches still watch a wild excitement," the official said, adding that mostly tourists drink beer.
According to Nemeryuk, since the beginning of the championship, the proceeds of many establishments at Nikolskaya Street have grown 2.5-3 times compared to the same period last year, and also with the weeks before the tournament. A similar increase in restaurateurs on the Kuznetsky Most and Tverskaya streets. In other regions, revenue increased by 50-150%, he added.
The founder and general director of the Teremok network, Mikhail Goncharov, says that on the first day of the Teremok Championship on Nikolskaya extended the time from 10 pm to midnight, but this was not enough. Now the restaurant is switched to a round-the-clock mode of operation and at night gets comparable with daily revenue. "As a result, sales have increased at least twice," Goncharov sums up. - The atmosphere there is crazy, the fans stand in lines even at night. It is a pity that this is only one month. "
"I have a second day here without rest, and what to do," says the manager of "Varenichna No. 1" Anna. - We have never complained about the number of guests, but now something incredible. The number of orders increased at us somewhere by 200 a day, we are all working at the limit, very tired. "
In the group of companies "Chocolate Girl" were prepared to increase the flow of guests during the World Cup 2018 and developed special offers for fans, says managing director of the group of companies Alexei Cairo. "Attendance has increased no less than twice: at Nikolskaya we work around the clock, the main demand is beer," he says. According to the representative of the "Chocolate Girl", in the cafe on Nikolskaya the revenue increased by an average of three times. The network does not reveal exact figures.
"We were waiting for the championship with great enthusiasm, and it absolutely justifies our expectations," says Anna Tsfasman, the founder of the Dubley coffee house network. According to her, on Nikolskaya fans go and for coffee, to cheer up, and for cold drinks, to "come to my senses after dancing and chanting."
A sharp influx of visitors recorded and located at Nikolskaya grocery stores. On the weekend of June 16-17, traffic in the Perekrestok Express store grew by more than 30%, said a representative of the network manager X5 Retail Group. The increased demand was enjoyed by soft drinks, tobacco, confectionery and snacks (chips), he noted.
Problems with the delivery of products to establishments are not observed, says Nemeryuk. Transportation is carried out as usual, in the evening or at night. "No one has ever called about this. There are no problems with the delivery either at Nikolskaya street or in Stoleshnikov lane, "the official said.
Director of the department of advertising and PR GUM Olga Yudkis compares the excitement in the days of the World Cup with New Year's Eve. "But such an international and picturesque public has not existed here for a long time," she adds.
Souvenirs do not have time to unpack
Souvenir shops on Nikolskaya, and previously popular with tourists, expect a record revenue after the end of the championship. The correspondent of RBC did not manage to talk to someone from the staff of souvenir shops for a long time - all the staff, up to managers and directors, unpacked boxes with matryoshkas, ear-flaps, Zabivaki, T-shirts with Russian symbols and portraits of President Putin. "I'm sorry, we do not have time to unpack it, and we're sorting it out," the manager of one of the shops explained, continuing to put a batch of magnets with the image of the famous Moscow buildings on the stand.
Only aside from Nikolskaya, in a shop in Vetoshny Lane, the excitement in the morning is less. "There is always a good demand for a souvenir. It is clear, we are not working in Altufevo, there are enough foreigners without the World Cup, - says the seller Dmitry in the Mexico national team's shirt. - But now the business is much better, of course. The fans have arrived, they are resting, they do not consider money, they are in courage. " Dmitriy says that because of the influx of fans, the shop began to work in the mode "up to the last client": "Yesterday I left at three o'clock in the morning, and what to do - they walk, come in".
Good buy and jewelry, especially things with "Moscow themes", told RBC managing salon Pandora on Nikolskaya Irina. "In terms of sales, we beat all records. Sales grew by two to three times compared to ordinary days, "she says. According to Irina, the absolute hit these days is the pendant with the church of St. Basil the Blessed.
In the drugstore "Rigla" on Nikolskaya in the morning it's deserted. "Everything is quiet with us, the number of visitors may have slightly increased, but uncritically, queues are not worth it. The main clients of the pharmacy these days are foreign fans, "consultant Ayhan told RBC.
According to the general director of the network, Alexander Filippov, the revenue of pharmacies in the central districts of the city over the past week increased by 1.5 times. "Mainly due to the non-medicinal assortment," Filippov stressed.
"Condoms, of course, they take a lot, very much their sales over the past week have grown," Aikhan said. - But, for example, pills that remove hangover syndrome, do not use special demand. It is evident that the guys who are hardy have come to us. "
The main "victims" from the invasion of fans to Nikolskaya were shops specializing in the sale of clothing, footwear and perfumes. "Everything is quiet with us, foreigners do not buy much from us," the administrator of the Flo-Jo salon told RBC. - We waited for the sales to happen: for example, they would freeze-they would buy a sweater or, if it's hot, a new T-shirt, but so far nothing has happened. In the first two days since the beginning of the carnival, we did not earn anything at all, because the festive crowd just blocked us the front door. Our customers simply did not get through, and foreigners came here not for shopping, but to drink and have fun. "
A similar picture in other stores. "There are fewer visitors, because groups of fans just close the entrance with their posters, gather at the entrance, start chanting. A perceptible drop in revenue for us, "says Irina of the perfume store" New Dawn ".
"Fans look in the afternoon, when they are still able to buy something, except beer, and in the evening they are already in a rage and they are not up to clothes. We extended the store until 11 pm, but in the evening, when the holiday begins, there are no sales, "admits Glenfield salon administrator Olga.
How has the consumption of Nikolskaya changed?
According to the company "Evotor" (manufacturer of online casinos), if we compare the indicators of shops and restaurants in the pre-football days (June 7-11) and football (June 14-18), then at the points on Nikolskaya street, the turnover increased by an average of 32% , the number of checks - by 110%. At the same time, the size of the average check decreased by 37%. For comparison: for the same period, the turnover in trade points on Arbat increased by 114%, the number of checks - by 80%, and the average check by 19%.
"There are more souvenir shops in Arbat, and tourists buy more such products, so all the indicators have grown here - both in terms of checks and average check," explained BBC analyst Evotor Bair Sangadzhiev. - At Nikolskaya, as we see, tourists basically leave money at the food points, and they stop to have a snack quickly. Visitors have become more obvious, but they spend less time in institutions. "
"We have a clear timetable for a week," says the waitress, who works here in one of the cafes on Nikolskaya Street (she refused to give her name). - Already at 10 am, when most of the establishments are opened, the people begin to pull themselves up. In the morning they have breakfast, drink coffee, buy souvenirs. Everything is pretty quiet, without much fanaticism. From two o'clock preparations begin for the evening match - fans drink a huge amount of beer, rehearse songs and chants, warm up. Hours from 19-20 here already dances, shouts, fun. And so every day. Ends by morning. "
"They all eat little here and drink a lot," says Anna from Varenichna No. 1. "Everyone drinks, and Mexicans, and even fans from Egypt and Morocco. The holiday is something common, "- adds a waitress from" Coffee House ".