Russian discounter Mere will not open new stores in Belgium this year, a report in the publication gondola.be said, citing a source close to the supermarket.
In May of this year, the discounter announced plans to open ten new outlets in Belgium this year.
The report also noted that finding the ‘right suppliers’ has become a bottleneck for the discounter.
The company imposes strict conditions on its suppliers, including the responsibility to deliver goods to various stores and paying only for goods that are actually sold, among others.
In Eastern Europe, it is relatively easy to find companies that can meet these conditions, but the same becomes difficult in other parts of Europe, the report said.
Store Launch Delay
Mere’s first store in Belgium was scheduled to open this month in Steenweg, Vilvoorde, in a building that previously housed Red Market, the defunct budget formula owned by the former Delhaize Group.
In July of this year, the discounter obtained a permit for that store, but the opening was delayed.
Other announced openings in Flémalle and Couvin have also been postponed, the report noted.
Last month, the company announced plans to open its first three stores in France in October in Pont-Sainte-Marie, Sainte-Marguerite and Thionville.
The chain did not taken any concrete step towards opening the announced shops, the report added, citing French media reports from last week.
In June, a report in The Grocer said mere was looking to open as many as 300 stores in the UK over the coming decade.