10 May 2018 10:39

Auchan Russia to expand selection by 30%-40%, offer higher priced goods - paper

MOSCOW. May 10 (Interfax) - Auchan Retail Russia, a subsidiary of French retailer Auchan, plans to expand its product assortment by 30%-40% by number of stock keeping units (SKU), company CEO Francois Remy said in an interview with business daily Vedomosti published on Thursday.

The company plans to do this as part of a change in the business model for the chain. "At the end of 2017, our team worked out a plan to transform the business model and began to implement it. The key unit is the relaunch of formats," Remy said. The company has classic hypermarkets; Auchan City superstores, the size of which is between that of a hypermarket and a supermarket; supermarkets; and proximity stores.

"A pilot project has been carried out at four stores. At the Auchan Aviapark hypermarket, the second floor of non-food goods has been completely redone. Auchan City Kapitoly, a fresh products store, is supposed to open in May. The Auchan Krasnogorsk supermarket and My Auchan convenience store on Bakuninskaya have already opened," Remy said.

The updated stores have a new design, color scheme, equipment and selection, as well as new employee uniforms.

Remy recalled that the transformation of business at the Auchan Group began back in 2015 at the global level.

"Until now, Auchan has mainly positioned itself as a discounter with a particular emphasis on low-price goods, which we call goods in the first third of assortment. The objective now is to give customers a fuller offering, particularly in the second and third thirds of assortment, in other words in the medium and premium segments," Remy said.

"We will strengthen the image of discounter. But instead of being a discounter of inexpensive goods, we will be a discounter across the whole line. In other words, even if this is a premium good, it should be cheaper [at our stores than at the stores of competitors]," Remy said.

The company's aim is to rationalize its offering and focus on what sells best, which will make it possible to lower prices thanks to the larger volume of purchases.

"In 20 months we will have completely new stores. You won't recognize Auchan," Remy said.

He said the company also plans to develop digital loyalty system. This will be a digital loyalty card in the shopper's telephone that will be part of the Auchan mobile app the company intends to launch by the second half of the year, Remy said.