French Retailer Auchan Refuses to Pull Out of Russia

CEO Yves Claude said that the French retail chain Auchan will maintain its operations in Russia which resulted in Ukraine calling for a boycott.

Auchan has around 30,000 staff, 231 stores, and other e-commerce activities in Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized Auchan for continuing to operate in Russia amidst invading Ukraine.

Yves Claude said that he feared the company risked losing assets or exposing local managers to potential legal troubles if it pulled out of Russia.

Claude said that the firm would also stay in Ukraine, where its 43 supermarkets and around 6,000 staff were operating under ‘extreme conditions, including in regions hit by the war.

“The most important in our eyes is to maintain our employees and ensure our primary mission, which is to continue feeding the populations of these two countries,” Claude said.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, answered the report by calling for a boycott of Auchan and all of its products.

“Apparently, job losses in Russia are more important than the loss of life in Ukraine,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy has said all Western companies have to leave the Russian market and do not cover their ‘thirst for profit’ through ‘cheap’ communication, explicitly mentioning Auchan and Swiss food giant Nestlé.

Auchan generated 3.2 billion euros in sales in Russia last year, around 10% of its global sales, but expects losses this year in that market.

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