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Leonid Fridlyand & Leonid Strunin

Owners, Mercury Retail Group

Hailed as the ‘czars of Russian retail,’ the business duo brought brands like Gucci and Brioni to their native country.


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 influential Russian figures in 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.


Mercury Retail Group

Mercury Retail Group


1994 - Present

Moscow, Russia

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The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.