Tajikistan to get Auchan: first hypermarket financed by EBRD

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Tajikistan will get its first ever hypermarket – a discount hypermarket under the Auchan brand in Dushanbe thanks to EBRD financing.

The EBRD is extending a financing package of €5 million to Schiever Tajikistan, a subsidiary of Schiever group, the French company which partners with Auchan group in France and Poland where it operates Auchan hypermarkets. Schiever will have the Auchan master franchise for Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s shoppers rely on expensive open-air markets and small shops for their groceries. The new, 5,000 m² hypermarket will not only bring competition and lower prices, but also new standards in food quality, hygiene and logistics. As part of the investment, there will also be a programme to develop the Tajik food value chain in partnership with local suppliers.

Signing the agreement in Dushanbe, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are proud to be part of this landmark project; the EBRD’s largest corporate investment in Tajikistan so far. We invest in changing lives. Bringing the first discount hypermarket to Tajikistan will improve not only the lives of local people, but will also introduce higher standards in the retail industry and create jobs along the value chain”.

Schiever Tajikistan’s General Manager Frédéric Lobbé said: “The introduction of modern retail represents a revolution for Tajikistan and is going to improve the country’s food security. Our Auchan hypermarket will be a popular store for everyone, offering a large choice of quality products at affordable prices.”

The EBRD will be a minority shareholder in Schiever Tajikistan and will also provide a long-term loan to the company to support the opening of this first hypermarket.

To date, the EBRD has invested €360 million in Tajikistan. 2014 is expected to be a record year for the Bank in the country, with annual investments reaching about €100 million.