Russian discounter Mere is planning to open its first stores in Bosnia and Herzegovina in January 2022.
Speaking to local daily Dnevni Avaz, Kemal Muratović, director of Express Consulting, a company which represents MERE in the Balkan country, said that the first store will open in the municipality of Ilidža, in Sarajevo.
He added that the premises have already been leased and work is currently underway on renovation and fitting of equipment.
According to Muratović, after launching in Sarajevo the retailer plans to open stores across the country, including in Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica, and Bijeljina.
The Russian retailer had previously announced plans to open 50 to 80 stores in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promised up to 20% lower prices compared to the competition.
Meanwhile, the Sarajevo Municipal Court has already registered a LLC, Eksperttorg, within which the retail chain will operate in the Balkan country.
Mere started operating in neighbouring Serbia in December 2020 by opening a discount store in Batajnica near Belgrade, followed by its sister company Svetofor in Mladenovac and Sabac.
Both Svetofor and Mere are part of the Trgoservis Group, which is one of the largest retail groups in Russia.
Elsewhere, German discounter Lidl is also continuing with its plans to start operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It has already selected the municipality of Istočna Ilidža near Sarajevo for the construction of its distribution centre, according to a report in Dnevni Avaz.
The large-scale grocery retail market in Bosnia and Herzegovina is dominated by Croatia-based Fortenova Group and local player Bingo.
Earlier this month, Mere called off plans open new stores in Belgium this year, saying that finding the ‘right suppliers’ has become a bottleneck for the discounter.