By  on June 18, 2009

PARIS — Carrefour Group has stepped into the Russian market and opened its first hypermarket in Moscow, in a move the world’s second-largest retailer expects will spearhead further expansion in the country.

The store, located in the recently opened Filion shopping mall in western Moscow, occupies two floors and a sales area of nearly 870,000 square feet, with 58 checkout counters and 450 staff members. It will carry a food range of 15,000 items, while non-food items such as clothes and white goods will reach 30,000. Around 90 percent of the products offered in the store are locally supplied, according to Carrefour.

“The Carrefour Group believes that the Russian retail market has outstanding long-term potential and considers it to be one of the strategic priorities for the company’s international development,” stated Thierry Garnier, member of Carrefour’s executive committee.

By the end of 2009, Carrefour expects to open two more hypermarkets in Russia: one in Lipetsk, in central Russia, and the other in the Galaxy shopping mall in the southern city of Krasnodar.

Several Western retailers are working on expansion plans in Russia, a market analysts forecast to grow between 14 and 16 percent a year through 2010.

Carrefour’s French competitor Auchan was among the first foreign hypermarket chains to expand into Russia, opening its first Moscow store in 2002. Auchan now has more than 30 stores, after expanding in the provinces, and plans to open another six stores this year.

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