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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

French Retail Giant to Open in Moscow

French retail giant Auchan has confirmed it will soon begin building two hypermarkets in the Moscow region.

Auchan, which owns more than 700 stores in 12 countries and has annual revenues of $22.7 billion, is expected to finalize an investment deal with the Moscow region's Property Ministry later this week that will pave the way for the first of the two stores to open in 2002, said Terry Martin, Auchan's development manager for Central and Eastern Europe.

The company will publicly announce its plans for Russia in the second half of February, he said.

Martin also said that construction of the Auchan hypermarkets could go ahead using the company's own money. He refused, however, to reveal the total cost of the project and the specific location of the stores until the official presentation.

Sergei Gipsh, retail space director for Colliers HIB consulting firm, said that based on existing Auchan properties the new stores would probably be roughly 30,000 square meters and cost about $40 million each.

An Auchan representative who asked not to be named said that the company also planned to open hypermarkets in the city proper.

"In the capital we intend to build one shop, but Auchan's negotiations with the Moscow government have not been completed," said the representative.

City Hall's land committee confirmed that negotiations with Auchan have taken place.