Named after the Roman god of commerce, the Mercury Group, one of Russia’s largest retail and real estate conglomerates, was founded by Leonid Fridlyand and Leonid Strunin in 1993. Two of the most influential Russian figures within the global fashion business, Fridlyand and Strunin were amongst the first to establish early franchise and distribution rights for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Prada within the former Soviet Union.
Boasting an extensive real estate portfolio, the duo have overseen the construction of the country’s most prominent luxury developments such as the TsUM department store-housed in a historical building close to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow-the DLT TsUM in Saint Petersburg and the affluent Tretyakovsky Proezd shopping arcade. In 2005 the duo also launched the Barvikha Luxury Village development. Set in grounds of over 80,000 square metres complete with hotels, spas and a concert hall, the village also boasts a dedicated shopping street lined with brands such as Tom Ford, Brioni, Balenciaga and Tod’s.
Alumni of the Moscow Institute of Transport & Engineering, Fridlyand and Strunin’s initial venture into retail began as a small jewellery and watch outlet, quickly growing through strategic alliances with brands such as Bulgari, Chaumet and Tiffany before diversifying into fashion.
The duo also currently operate franchises for luxury car makers such as Ferrari, Maserati and Bentley and in 2008 acquired art auctioneers Phillips de Pury & Company, further expanding their extensive luxury portfolio.