6 Chelyabinsk shopping malls

with 6 Comments

On an average day I spend several hours with Russian teenagers, frequently talking about shopping malls. I don’t know if this is a Russian thing or a teenager thing but malls are big here. The topic often comes up during small talk (“What did you do this weekend?”) and during grammar (“Is Куба bigger than Родник?” is more interesting to the students than “Is London bigger than New York?”).

Malls are abbreviated as ТРК (торгово-развлекательный комплекс) or ТРЦ (торгово-развлекательный центр). I’m not sure what the difference is?? A very small shopping center with no movie theater or restaurants is called a тц (торговый центр). Here are 6 of the fanciest ТРК/ТРЦ in Chelyabinsk… 😉

ТРК Горки

Gorky, which opened its doors in 2007, has more than 100 stores spread out over 55,000 square meters. We haven’t spent any time here except for riding the ferris wheel out front and then quickly walking through the mall.
Inside Gorky.

ТРЦ Алмаз

Definitely one of the more upscale malls in the city. Quite large- this place has 3 floors, covers 222,000 square meters, and offers 4,000 parking spots! The mall opened in 2015. My beloved Natura Siberica (Russian skincare) shop is in here.

ТРК Урал

Smaller than the other malls with just 25 shops, a grocery store, a movie theater, and several fast food restaurants.

ТРК Родник

When we first arrived in Chelyabinsk, this was the only mall we knew about for months. Several of the South African teachers had already been working at the school for several months and introduced us to this place as “the mall”. It’s not a place I visit anymore unless I need to buy boring household stuff (shower head, light bulbs, etc) at a store called Castorama.

ТРЦ Фокус

This is probably my favorite mall in town because it has a MASSIVE bookstore named Библио-Глобус and a clothing shop called FunDay selling t-shirts that will make you laugh. Фокус opened in 2006.
Toy machine inside the mall.


If you’re looking for cheap Adidas gear or discounted Reebok shoes, this is the spot. It’s the first outlet mall in Chelyabinsk.

In comparison: Moscow’s ТРЦ Европейский

What do you think of Chelyabinsk’s shopping malls? Do you have any insight on the difference between a ТРК and a ТРЦ?

6 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Brown
    | Reply

    Wait…the vending machine has toys wrapped in dollar bills? What?! haha.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Yeah! I spent a long time trying to figure out if the bills were real. They looked real!
      One time in Ukraine I saw the same kind of toy machine with some packs of cigarettes mixed in… got that photo stashed away somewhere. 😂

  2. David Emerling
    | Reply

    Malls peaked in popularity in the U.S. in the 80’s and have been on a steady decline ever since. The internet has been the cause of this slow death of brick & mortar stores. In particular, Amazon and an array of online shopping sites that allows the purchaser to find EXACTLY what they want (with reviews) instead of driving all over town and finding only something CLOSE to what they were looking for.

    Having said this, I can only assume that Russia does not have a robust online (internet) market. Is that true?

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Hi David! Amazingly, I have a Russian friend that uses Amazon to get teaching supplies. I think she uses some kind of (re)delivery service like Boxberry to get her order all the way to Chelyabinsk.

      Online markets like Ali Express and ozon.ru are pretty popular right now in Russia. It’s not quite the same delivery-wise as it is in the US with Amazon Prime though. I feel like in the US, people will just say, “huh, almost out of toilet paper, I’ll just order some on Amazon Prime and it’ll be here tomorrow.” In Russia, if you tried that, you’d have a very awkward wait before the order finally arrived. 😂 So while you can get all kinds of cool stuff online, the only way to get it NOW is to go to the mall or store. Could change in the future but things like 2-day (or 1-day) delivery require a high degree of efficiency and good roads so…

  3. David Emerling
    | Reply

    You say malls are referred to as either ТРК or ТРЦ. Are those pronounced as if they were words, or are is each letter pronounced separately? In other works, is pronounced like “Teh Er Kah” or more like “Terk”?

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Good question! I asked my husband to double check -> Separately, as in “Teh Er Kah” 🙂

      Also, I could be wrong but I feel like people generally use ТЦ in print and say торговый центр or the specific name of the mall.

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