I recently had need of a bicycle pump. I noticed on the road out of Riga, just past Spice, a sign saying Elkor Sports. So in we went. WOW!!!! Possible the best stocked sports shop I’ve ever seen. Huge range of bicycles, gym equipment, clothing, shoes etc etc The amount of stock they had was staggering. Now for the but. BUT there were no customers, just loads of employees. Now his is not an unusual occurrence in Latvia. There are more shopping centres per head of population than anywhere I’ve seen on my travels through Europe.
To the retail shopping enthusiast, Latvia must be a paradise. The shopping centres are great. Containing their fair share of designer shops, they are a delight to shop in. Why? Because they are never busy.
So here’s the conundrum. In order to keep their business afloat, wages and rents must be low. If wages are low, who shops there. If rents are low, who would want to invest there. Your answers would be greatly appreciated so I can continue with my Latvian education