It has been almost 20 days since Russia started invading Ukraine.
Economic sanctions have been taken against Russia globally and many companies have left the country.
Belonging to the Mulliez galaxy, the Auchan, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin brands have nevertheless decided to keep their stores open in Russia.
Against all odds ?
It has now been about 20 days since Russia began invading Ukraine.
Since then, Europe and a large part of the international community have implemented sanctions, mainly economic, to try to weaken the regime of Vladimir Putin.
Along with this, many companies have decided on their own to boycott Russia by ceasing all business there.
But this is not the case for several brands belonging to the Mulliez family, including Auchan.
On Monday, several environmental activists went to the head office of Auchan, in Croix, near Lille, in the North.
The latter intended to demand accountability from the Mulliez family, which has so far refused to cease its activities in Russia.
“Nothing shocks you?
At the head office of the Auchan group, the Russian flag floats as if nothing had happened, ”was indignant Marine Tondelier, EELV regional councilor in Hauts-de-France.
Hundreds of stores and thousands of employees
And on social networks, the Auchan, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin brands, whose stores are still open in Russia, take it for their rank in all languages.
Not to mention the multiple misappropriations of their respective logos accusing these companies of collaborating with Moscow.
For the Mulliez “group”, the Russian market is not anecdotal in the share it represents in terms of turnover.
Auchan employs 30,000 people there in 231 stores for a turnover of 3.1 billion euros out of a total of 30 billion worldwide.
The other two brands are located there to a lesser extent with about sixty stores for Decathlon and a hundred for Leroy Merlin.
Nevertheless, for the DIY specialist, the turnover it generates in Russia, 5 billion euros, represents more than 18% of its overall turnover.
, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin did not respond.
On the Auchan retail side, we said tersely “we have no comment to make” before adding that the brand also had 6,000 employees in Ukraine where 41 out of 43 stores were still open.
A position that could cost these brands dearly, at least in terms of images, while the decision of the Mulliez family may not be purely commercial.
To AFP, a trade unionist present at the demonstration of environmentalists explained that Auchan did not want to close its stores in Russia "in order to continue to pay salaries and provide food".
Asked about these two points, Auchan retail mysteriously declared that this “analysis is very interesting to read”.
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A fault ?