A new supermarket chain is set to open in the UK, and it’s already proving to be a rival to leading budget retailers Aldi and Lidl.
MERE Retail – which is affectionately known by some as “the Russian Lidl” – was founded in 2009 as Svetofor in Siberia, and has since gone on to become one of the largest Russian retail operators in the discounter segment, with more than 2,500 stores in Europe and a reported total of 3,200 stores worldwide.
Although fellow European budget supermarket retailers Aldi and Lidl are likely to be the easiest comparison for Brits, MERE compares itself to Costco.
What makes it different to Costco is that there is no membership fee and no in-store service.
MERE branches are currently set to open doors over the coming months in Castleford, Mold, Caldicot and the nearby Lancashire city of Preston – which is expected to open in mid-July – but the retailer is yet to put down routes in Greater Manchester.
Now though, it’s reported in The Grocer that plans to step up store openings elsewhere in the UK are beginning to take shape.
Speaking to The Grocer earlier this month, Pavels Antonovs – Head of UK Buying at MERE – claimed that the supermarket would be 30% cheaper than rivals, adding that: “We are the gap in the market [and] we don’t have any competitors.
“Our model is no service and no marketing.”
Each UK store will reportedly be about 10,000 square feet, and have just eight workers.
Another thing that makes MERE different to other retailers is that items are typically sold directly from the pallets they’re delivered on, and the supermarket buys stock from suppliers on a “sale or return basis” – which means it’ll return any unsold goods back to the seller.
The shops are also said to include a walk-in chiller room and freezer.
MERE Retail has set out ambitious plans to open over 300 stores in the UK within the next eight to 10 years.
Featured Image – MERE Retail