Auchan to launch private label store in Russia

French retailer Auchan has announced plans to launch a private label store in Russia.

The controversial move comes shortly after the first anniversary of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, with western giants like McDonald's, Apple and Zara all ceasing operations in the country.

The Russian arm of Auchan said that the new ‘My Auchan’ store will offer around 900 items, with approximately 90 per cent of that total being own-brand food items.

The company said that its main mission in Russia is to provide people with quality products at affordable prices.

The announcement comes several weeks after a report from French newspaper Le Monde and investigative websites Bellingcat and The Insider alleged that Auchan was supplying Russian soldiers in Ukraine with goods such as clothes and cigarettes for free. Auchan denied the allegations, saying that it “does not conduct, support or fund any charity collections for the armed forces.”

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he would ask his French counterpart for an explanation, and claimed that “Auchan has evolved into a full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression.”

Auchan, which previously refused to concede to calls from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyyfor it French businesses to cease their Russian operations, faced boycott calls from the foreign minister last year.

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