Time machine: Norilsk shops

Time machine: Norilsk shops

February 01, 2024

Today we present our readers’ favorite project History Spot in a new format. We will show not only archival photographs of Norilsk, but also see these city corners today.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. This ‘time machine’ will transport us through several decades. And let’s start with the first, largest and most beautiful stores in the city.

Yenisey supermarket. On February 20, 1953, the Norilskorg department head issued an order to create the first large grocery store in the Krasnoyarsk region. It opened on Gvardeyskaya square, had eight departments and worked from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The store’s total area was as much as 3169 square meters. It was the largest and most beautiful grocery store in Norilsk. In the mid-1960s, it was closed for reconstruction, and then, in June 1964, grocery store No. 1 received its own name – Yenisey. In those years, on the recommendation of the RSFSR Trade Ministry, all large stores had to be given names.

In 1976, the Yenisey grocery store was refurbished and became the Yenisey supermarket, changing the form of trade to faster and more convenient self-service. Yenisey was awarded the Trade department’s challenge Red Banner 18 times in a row, and in 1982 it won the regional competition of trade enterprises.

Talnah department store. On April 22, 1952, the first customers crossed the threshold of the central department store on Gvardeyskaya square. It opened in the village of Norilsk and, as was customary at that time, became a gift for the birthday of the revolution leader, Lenin. Another occasion was the combine’s tenth anniversary, whose birthday was counted from April 1942, from the first ton of pure industrial nickel obtained.

At first, the new, largest department store in Norilsk was also nameless and called just department store. Its size and interiors allowed the townspeople to consider it the Norilsk CDS (Central Department Store). There were as many as 33 departments where they sold knitwear, shoes, hats, ready-made dresses, dishes, stationery, gifts, electrical and cultural goods, fabrics… In the late 1950s, the department store became store No. 16, and luminous signs appeared on its façade: Fabrics, Clothing, Gifts. The first specialized store Children’s World was located in the left wing for a short time. In those years, fabrics were in greater demand than ready-made clothing. Custom sewing at home or in a studio was common. And there was more choice of fabrics in the store – more than half a thousand samples – than there were clothing models. There was also a cutting table where, when purchasing a piece, the selected model was cut for free. The store also had a tailor’s shop where ready-made clothes could be tailored. In Norilsk at that time, they were actively introducing progressive forms of trade: they abandoned massive counters, switched to self-service, so that the buyer could touch and choose the product himself, and the seller had to help choose a cut for the model and decide on the required fabric length. In the early 1960s, the store again became a department store, and at the end of 1963 it received its own name – Talnah.

Sayany supermarket. In September 1957, a bread and milk store was opened in a new building on Stalin avenue, 11 (now it’s Leninsky prospect, 17. – editor). Initially, it was planned to place an atelier in this building, but for the residents of the surrounding houses, which had just been built on the avenue, Sovetskaya and Komsomolskaya streets, bread was a more pressing need. So the studio was moved to the beginning of the avenue, and over time it became known as Norilchanka.

In 1958, in the second wing of grocery store No. 43, the Meat and Fish department was opened, where they also sold gastronomy and semi-finished products. Construction of the avenue continued, and soon the store was not in the area of new buildings, but in the very center of the city. The store itself grew – it became grocery store No. 3. Its departments were among the first enterprises to adopt a progressive method of work – self-service.

In the mid-1960s, Norilsk stores got their own names. The Norilsk trade department preferred to use local toponyms: Lama, Ayan, Putorany, Polar, North… It was decided “in connection with the end of reconstruction and the transfer of its main section to self-service, to call the grocery store No. 3 Sayany”. When the grocery store completely switched to the progressive form of trade it grew up to a supermarket.

Diet store. In 1961, in the center of Leninsky prospekt, which was under construction, in house No. 28, grocery store No. 31 opened. And above its entrance there were signs Grocery and Bakery – in the Leningrad style. In 1964, this store was one of the first to receive its own name and began to be called Lakomka (eng.: Gourmet). In 1978, he changed his specialization and became Diet. One of the favorite childhood memories of many Norilsk residents is the Diet’s cafeteria: tomato juice, milkshake, ‘potato’ and fondant cakes…

Severok store. The first Norilsk Children’s World – a specialized store with goods for children – opened in the summer of 1960 in the left wing of the central department store, which had not yet become Talnah by that time. Before it, there was a machine counting station – the prototype of the current information and computing center. Children’s World sold goods for children of all ages: clothes, shoes, stationery and toys. The first children’s store was decorated with panels with fairy-tale characters.

A couple of years later, Children’s World moved to its own premises – on the first floor of a new building on Leninsky prospekt, 31. Its branch operated on Dzerzhinsky street, where children’s clothing was sold. In 1966, Children’s World got its own name – Severok – in honor of the TV character beloved by Norilsk residents. Under this name it was remembered by generations of townspeople who ran there to take a look. In winter, the most colorful New Year’s market in the city opened in Severok. Buyers were greeted there not only by Father Frost and Snow Maiden, but also, for example, by an astronaut in a rocket. As a result, taking a child away from the store became a problem.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

February 01, 2024

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