Auchan bought 20 stores in Romania from Metro last year

Auchan bought 20 stores in Romania from Metro last year

French retail giant Auchan is understood to be anticipating a doubling of sales in Romania between 2012 and 2015 following the opening of its first rebranded Real store.

Auchan struck a deal to buy the eastern European Real chain from German retail giant Metro Group in November last year for EUR1.1bn (US$1.4bn). The sale included 91 Real hypermarkets in Poland, Russia, Romania and Ukraine.

Yesterday (16 October), Auchan opened its first rebranded store in Romania, one of 20 it bought from Metro as part of the acquisition. The retailer said in September it will rebrand all of the Romania stores within less than a year.

The CEO of Auchan Romania, Patrick Espasa, told journalists at the opening of the first store in Pallady, that the group estimates sales will reach EUR2bn by 2015, according to local press.

He added that the converted store was a "great opportunity to put in place the whole process of remodeling, and form teams to integrate and combine the strengths of both companies in achieving our ambition to make the Auchan favourite shop to all".

Espasa said the store was "modern, welcoming and comfortable", and is stocked with 50,000 "permanent cheap products and lower prices".

Following last year’s takeover, Auchan Romania now operates a network of around 31 stores. According to Balkans.com, the combined turnover of the two networks amounts to around EUR1bn.