Tajik authorities officially launched on June 21 the country’s largest shopping mall, Dushanbe Mol (Dushanbe Mall), in which TJS110mn (€12.3mn) were invested, the president’s office said in a statement. The mall will also be home to the country's first ever hypermarket to be part of the French Auchan chain.
The opening of the hypermarket will bring competition to the market resulting in lower prices for Tajik customers, who have seen their purchasing power over the past two years weakened amid a decline in remittances. Remittances were equivalent to 46.6% of the country's GDP in 2014.
Tajik shoppers have so far relied on expensive small shops and open-air markets for their groceries. The discount hypermarket will be operated by Schiever Tajikistan, a unit of French Schiever Group, which holds the Auchan franchise in the Central Asian country. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested €5mn in the project, which will create 400 jobs. http://cbonds.com/news/item/833657
Schiever Group owns over 3000 hypermarkets and shopping centres. The company partners with Auchan group in France and Poland where it operates Auchan hypermarkets.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon was also present at the opening ceremony, echoing another Central Asian dictator Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to the opening of the Carrefour hypermarket in Almaty. The Tajik leader’s attendance is likely, in a similar fashion, meant to portray a message to Tajik citizens that the country is developing despite its ongoing economic crisis.
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