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HOUSTON-Auchan USA has opened a 180,000-sf hypermarket in southeast Houston, the second store in the United States for the Paris, France-based retailer.

The Auchan store has a large grocery component with a wide inventory of foods, fish, cheese and produce, combined with a discount store selling apparel, shoes, furniture, electronics and various household goods. Auchan also carries a large supply of beer and wines. The store is located at 6058 South Loop near Long Dr. The space was formerly used as a Target store and a flea market before it was taken over by Auchan and renovated.

The new Auchan supplies more momentum to an economic turn-around that has been occurring in the closed-in southeast area. The neighborhood had been somewhat depressed economically and a number of stores and businesses had shut down there in recent years.

Today, Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement are building new stores in the immediate vicinity and Wulfe & Co. is redeveloping the old Gulfgate shopping center at the intersection of the Gulf Freeway and the South Loop.

Auchan opened its other Houston location about 12 years ago in west Houston. Auchan, which has more than 200 stores in Europe, has long-term plans to construct a few more stores in Houston before expanding to other Texas cities, a company spokesman said. Auchan has made inroads in appealing to Houston’s ethnically diverse population.

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