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French retailer Auchan says it plans to remain in Russia, Ukraine calls for boycott -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Auchan supermarket is pictured in Saint-Sebastien-sur-Loire near Nantes, France, February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – Privately-owned French retailer Auchan said it plans to continue its presence Russia in an interview in Journal du Dimanche published Sunday. Its CEO stated that Auchan was planning to do so. That led to Ukraine calling for a boycott.

Auchan has around 35,000 employees, 231 Russian stores, and is active in e-commerce in Russia. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, already criticised Auchan for being operational in Russia following the invasion.

Interview published Sunday by Auchan’s Chief Executive Yves Claude. He stated that he feared for the company losing its assets and exposing local managers potential legal trouble if Russia pulls out.

Claude indicated that the company would remain in Ukraine as its 43 supermarkets were still open and more than 6,000 workers are working in areas affected by war.

Claude explained that “the most important for us is to retain our employees” and that our primary mission is to continue to feed the peoples of these countries.

The report was reacted to by the Ukrainian foreign minister who called for a boycott against Auchan and its products.

Dmytro Kuleba stated on Twitter that “apparently, job losses Russia are more significant than the loss in life in Ukraine,” (NYSE:).

Zelenskiy (Ukraine President) stated it was essential that Western companies abandon Russia’s market. He explicitly mentioned Auchan, and Nestle the Swiss food giant.

Russia was home to a staggering 3.2 billion euro in company sales last year. This is around 10% of the global sales. The company expects that Russia will suffer losses in this market.

Moscow asserts that Putin’s “special military operations” aims to demilitarize and denazify its neighbor. This is a pretext to invading Ukraine without its Western allies.

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