Home > Travel > The Mystery of the Dunnes Stores Bags

The Mystery of the Dunnes Stores Bags


I’m about to drop off the edge of the Internet for a while again, on a three day trip from Ulan Ude to Vladivostok. Before I go though, I leave you with a mystery.

A long time ago, when I was in Moscow, I spotted a granny on the Metro, carrying her groceries in a familiar-looking bag. Closer inspection revealed that it was indeed a Dunnes Stores “Bag for Life”. Weird, I thought, and kept on about my business.

Except that I’ve seen them a few times since then, all across Russia. The one in my possession, pictured above, came from a Russian tour guide, who said that her company had handed them out to its staff.

So just why are Dunnes Stores bags so popular behind the former Iron Curtain? Do they have prized aesthetic or structural qualities? Do their owners dream of coming to Ireland and shopping under the hallowed green banner one day? Or did Dunnes just make far too many of the things and flog them off to foreign markets to recoup some cash?

Answers on a postcard please. (Don’t send them anywhere, just write them on a postcard.)

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  1. September 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Maybe dunnes going to open stores across Russia!! flogging bags to gauge interest!!

  2. September 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Hmm. Perhaps I should have got a job with them as a pathfinder…

  3. loaf
    October 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    >Or did Dunnes just make far too many of the things and flog them off to foreign markets to >recoup some cash?
    This. They’ve been widely sold at the local markets in the 200-s period, now they are kinda rare though.

    • October 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Good to know. Still a bit weird though.

  4. bobsox
    November 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I am wondering exactly the same thing. Currently seeing them everywhere in Samara and in Moscow too… Trying to trace the trail to an actual shop to stock up on cheap tights and useless homewares.

    • November 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I still have one I was given on the Trans-Siberian. A very weird souvenir from a far corner of the world.

  5. December 19, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Carefully eyeing my collection of Centra bags – their value is due to skyrocket in the next few years when they open to the Zimbabwean market…

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