Paris - French retailer Auchan does not plan to change its strategy in Russia or the structure of its local operations, the Russian branch of the privately owned company told Reuters in emailed comments on Wednesday. Auchan Russia was responding to a request for a comment after a local media report suggested it may cede control of its domestic operations to a third party.
Auchan, which has about 30,000 staff, 231 stores and an online business in Russia, is a rare example of a Western company continuing to operate in the country after Moscow sent thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. In late March, Auchan said it planned to maintain its presence in Russia, prompting Ukraine to call for a boycott of the chain as global names from McDonald's to Renault to Nike leave the country: "The main mission of Auchan Retail Russia is to provide the population with quality products at affordable prices. As of now, Auchan does not plan any changes to its strategy or in the organisation of the company as a whole," Auchan Russia said in its emailed reply on Wednesday. Before the Ukraine conflict started, Auchan was planning to spend more than 20 billion roubles ($340 million) on developing digital services in Russia by 2024 to boost online sales in the face of increased competition from rivals.