It may sound strange, but the above words are the names of two very respectable department stores in the very heart of Moscow: Gum (pronounced Goom) located along the Red Square, and Zoom (pronounced Tsoom) next to the Bolshoi Theater.
GUM is actually a shopping mall, and a very expensive one.
I think there's something wrong in the location of this extravagant mall in the historic center of Moscow, especially opposite Lenin's mausoleum.
Having said that, the place is well worth a visit as it is unique architecturally.
It is not exactly an one - piece building like ZUM; it consists of a series of arcades on three levels connected by small bridges and covered with a glass roof. Inside, there are lots of designer shops with western brands. It definitely has class, and it fits the requirements of both the russian elite and the rich tourists.
On the ground floor there's a luxury supermarket (which sells among other goodies, finest vodka and black kaviar). For the people with a tight budget there are the ice cream stands which are very popular.( I must confess I didn't like the taste of the local ice cream sold there).
On the third floor I got acquainted with an eatery called Solovaya 57. It's a sort of canteen where you can have a decent meal for a decent price. I had lunch there twice, and fell in love with their pastry of cherry strudel and cherry pie.
ZUM is situated in the theater area (Bolshoi and Mali theaters). It is a high end department store with renowned brands in clothing, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, perfumeries. Those looking for real fur will find it here.Those who wish to relax with a cup of coffee will do so at the nice cafe on the fourth floor,
Across the store there are some shops, eateries and benches. People seem to enjoy sitting on those benches , and looking ahead at the entrance of ZUM, at people going in and out of the big store.