When your shopping carts get stuck in a snowbank
Businesses have been struggling to get supplies into the frozen tundra, with some retailers struggling to cope.
Now, as the capital city of Russia, the Arctic is starting to recover from the worst snowfall in more than a century, the country is seeing more retailers struggle to get their goods into the region.
It comes amid a surge in snowfall across the country, with many areas seeing up to four feet (1.5 metres) of snowfall.
What does that mean for retailers?
The most obvious consequence is that it means you’re going to have to make do with less stock.
Some retailers say that they’re seeing fewer orders because they’re more concerned about supplies.
“It’s a bit of a problem for the manufacturers, it’s a problem with the retailers,” Alexander Kuzmin, a spokesman for Russian manufacturer Lidovka, told AFP news agency.
But the problem is more acute for retailers.
“People are struggling to find products,” said Dmitry Sokolov, a Russian-American entrepreneur who runs a food-processing business.
“They have a huge shortage of products and supplies and are trying to find alternatives to the stores.”
The worst snow has been heavy in the south-east, where temperatures are currently -4C (-7F).
But the city of St Petersburg, a centre of industry, has been hit hard by the weather, with its capital getting a record 1.6 inches (4.6 centimeters) of the worst of the snowfall, with residents complaining about power outages and traffic jams.
Many residents have also been left stranded because they can’t find buses to transport them to their homes.
In a sign of the challenges retailers face in Russia, Lidove, a local supermarket, is planning to open a second store in the capital.
In the last year alone, the company has lost two-thirds of its staff and its stock has fallen by half.
“We have to find new ways of working,” Alexander Shkolnikov, the supermarket’s general manager, told Reuters news agency earlier this week.
It’s not the only store in Russia facing a problem.
The country has had a long winter, with snowfalls falling across the region as early as February.
In some regions, such as the southern Urals, temperatures have fallen to -20C (-40F), making it difficult for drivers to navigate roads.
But even with snowfall so severe, many Russian retailers say they have managed to cope, with the average price of goods rising to a record high in October.
Many of Russia’s biggest supermarkets are struggling with the problems that have come to besiege them, with their stock dropping by over 50% in the past month alone.
In recent weeks, supermarkets have struggled to find supplies and staff to staff their stores, forcing them to turn to third-party suppliers to help fill their shelves.
“In Russia, we are faced with a lot of challenges and problems.
We have to do our best to overcome them,” Shkolniuk said.