French retailer Auchan is defending its ownership of land housing one of its Russian retail complexes after local authorities claimed it belonged to the Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

The land, a 50-hectare plot housing Auchan food, hardware and sporting goods outlets in the Moscow suburb of Mytishchy, was owned by the Russian Agricultural Academy in 2000.

In accordance with a development programme for the Moscow area, the land was then leased to the private sector.

In 2002, the French retailer opened the first European-owned hypermarket complex on the site.

“While Auchan is yet to hear of the full details of the case, the company believes that the land was purchased lawfully,” a source close to the situation told just-food.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Auchan declined to comment.

However, in a statement released by the National Resource Ministry, the Russian body claimed that the land was seized illegally.
“I trust that the illegally seized land will be returned to the government, and the people responsible for the illegal use of the space will be punished,” said Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of the environmental agency.