Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Corfu Trend: ‘Russian Leather & Fur Shops’ and ‘Made in China Shops’

Ah, talk about extremes. Sweet and Sour. Hot and Cold. Rich and Poor. High-End and Low-End. ‘Fur Shops’ and ‘Made in China Shops’ in Corfu. Yes, by the dozens.

Ricco Furs in Corfu. In Russian.

China Style Shop. All Made in China stuff.

Dutchman and I were totally caught off-guard between the contrast of the shopping trends in Corfu. There were just so many Made in China shops, popping up the ground like mushrooms along the main roads of Kerkyra, the capital city of the island. They sell cheap goods from souvenirs, clothing, shoes to home accessories. They are much cheaper than the regular shops in Kerkyra centre. But then again most tourists (especially the day tourists that arrive in droves) do not visit these shops, it is for the locals and for the longer staying holidaymaker.

During the summer holiday we visited quite a number of these shops, mainly for just out of curiosity really, comparing one Made in China shop to another. And to summarise our experience? All the shops sold almost the same junk and they also hold the same prices. These shops probably talk to each other as there was very little price difference one could notice.

With the ongoing Greek economic crisis, I do not think the locals mind the existence of these shops. They probably thank the Chinese for them.

Here are the shops we managed to take pictures:

China City Shop.

China Ke Ke Shop. I have no idea what Ke Ke means?

Ni Hao Shop. There was also a Hong Kong Shop beside this if I am not mistaken, which we forgot to take a picture of.

China World Shop. Because someone already took China Style and China City.

And because China World, China City and China Style were already taken, this one went for China Town.

Nobody used the Market combination yet! OSA Market China Shop =)

Here is another China City Shop, a second one in the capital city.

On the other side of the coin, Leather & Fur Shops stand side by side the Made in China Shops in Corfu. Quite a divergence I know, haha. These shops are more posh and of course selling only expensive clothing items, targeting mainly the Russian holidaymakers. It looks like the leather and fur market is quite big in Corfu because of the Russians. Although I am not sure if this is going to be the case now since the demise of Rubble.

Furs are still a novelty these days. I noticed that it is widely accepted and is a status symbol in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. In Northern Europe though where political correctness and animal rights are more predominant, wearing fur is more of a choice.

In the Netherlands, fur coats are not popular. They are seen as tasteless frock and owners are branded as irresponsible show-off bitches. Here is a tip: You do not want to be caught wearing a fluffy fur coat in Amsterdam if you do not want to be assaulted for wearing a dead animal. I promise you, this is darn serious advice!

And here are the Leather & Fur Shops:

Leather Lapel Shop.

 Karre Mexa Furs Shop.

Naomi Mexa Shop.

Ricco Furs Shop.

Travel Period: June-July 2014
Destination: Kerkyra, Corfu (Ionian Islands), Greece

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