French retailing giant Auchan today [Tuesday] opened Russia's largest supermarket, a 16,000m² store in the northern outskirts of Moscow.

General director for Russia, Patrick Longuet, explained at a news conference that the store will help it fight off some tough sector competition from domestic and foreign firms by offering consumers some of the lowest food prices in greater Moscow.
"Competitors in Moscow are numerous and strong. (But) we shall be working in a hypermarket format, which means offering goods at the lowest possible prices," he said.

Longuet did not comment on Auchan's total investment in Russia, but unveiled plans to open the firm's second store in south Moscow in December of this year with the creation of 790 jobs.

Auchan's third store will open in the west of Moscow in Q3 2003.