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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

French Grocer Hediard Says It May Open 7 New Outlets

Hediard, the French gourmet food chain that was bought last year by billionaire and Federation Council member Sergei Pugachyov, plans to open as many as seven stores in Russia.

Hediard will add at least five boutiques in Moscow and St. Petersburg after sales at its store in the Russian capital rose 40 percent last year, Hediard said Friday in an e-mailed statement. The chain has bought out its franchise partner in Russia to operate the outlets itself, the statement shows.

Pugachyov's family-owned LuxAdvor acquired Hediard in October to add to its luxury goods holdings as demand for high-quality groceries increases worldwide. The country's business leaders are investing some of their billions overseas in vineyards, castles, football clubs and cars.

Hediard plans to expand in the fastest-growing markets of Asia, the Middle East and Russia and will open its first Chinese outlet this year, president Dominique Richard said Oct. 12. Sales may reach about 30 million euros ($47 million) in 2007, up from 27 million euros in 2006, he forecast at the time.

Pugachyov's other luxury assets include stakes in Designcapital, which invests in contemporary design-oriented retailers and furniture manufacturers, and David Linley, Queen Elizabeth II's nephew's furniture and interiors company, as well as a stake in television channel, Friday's statement said.

Pugachyov, who represents the republic of Tuva, located on the Mongolian border, is the country's 45th-richest person, with a fortune of about $4 billion, according to the weekly magazine Finans.