By  on January 29, 2009

MOSCOW — The news from Russia hasn’t gotten any better.

Until last year a key potential growth engine for luxury brands, the market has imploded as rapidly as the price of the oil that fueled the country’s wealth. In Moscow, an Alexander McQueen and a Stella McCartney boutique, both of which are franchises run by the same Russian firm, are to close less than 18 months after opening as a result of the crisis, while department stores report plummeting sales. And the prospects for Russian brands, many of which previously had international expansion in their plans, are less certain.

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