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    Russian Grocer Prepares to Enter South Florida: Report

    As many as 30 stores to open in area

    Russian-owned grocery chain Okey-Dokey has revealed plans to open its first U.S. store in south Florida next month, according to a published report. The chain, which is being developed by Miami-based Agro-Trade, intends to open as many as 30 stores in the region by the end of 2012. Each location will employ 10 to 16 associates.

    “We see the opportunity. We’ve done it before, and we know we can do it this time,” said Andre Shilenko, VP of recruiting for Agro-Trade, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The company said it plans to hire more than 500 employees in southeast Florida over the next two years in warehouse, store and corporate positions, among others. Slated store locations include Miami, North Miami and Sunrise.

    According to Roy Sartin, Agro-Trade America’s director of people development, Miami’s diverse population was the reason it was chosen as the location for Okey-Dokey’s first store.

    The senior executive group developing the chain, which reportedly includes billionaire Russian entrepreneur Andrei Rogachyov, previously founded the Pyaterochka discount grocer and the Karusel big-box retailer in Russia, although Sartin said the company was still in the process of hiring and wouldn’t disclose management until early next year.

    Sartin added that a Dutch company, Agro Trade International B.V., is investing $500 million in the U.S. chain.

    Okey-Dokey stores will be located in densely populated residential areas and offer a broad assortment of mainly top-selling national brands.
     

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