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Cheaper than cheap Russian supermarket chain to open its first UK store

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A cheaper than cheap Russian supermarket will open its first UK shop in August.

Mere – a discount grocery chain said to be 30 % cheaper than Aldi and Lidl – will open in Preston.


A planned opening at the start of 2021 was delayed by the pandemic.

Aleksandr Chkalov, Mere UK business development manager, said:

“On 14 August we will be glad to present our new retail model: a real hard discounter, with no shelves, no service, no convenience, just the lowest prices.”

Mere has been advertising for sites around the country.

It said: “We are looking for suitable locations across UK to expand our retail chain.

“At the moment, despite coronavirus, we are actively involved with landlords, their representatives and agents with the aim to open our Mere retail stores ASAP.”

The Grocer magazine lists potential sites as:

Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton, south Scotland, and Wales.

Mere is known in Russia as Svetofor.

It was founded in 2009 and has 3,200 stores internationally.

It has been starting out in Europe since 2018 with stores in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

As well as the UK, it plans to soon expand in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria.

Each store in the UK will have around 1,200 items and just eight staff.

It won’t sell newspapers, magazines and other premium, branded goods.

Pavels Antonovs, from Mere, said:

“We are the gap in the market. We don’t have any competitors.

“Our model is no service and no marketing.”





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