Russian discounter Mere has closed its first store in Bosnia and Herzegovina, less than one year since it commenced operations in the Balkan country.
The store in Eastern Sarajevo was opened in May 2022, and was followed by further outlets in Doboj and Prijedor.
At the time of the launch, the retailer announced ambitious plans to open as many as 50 to 80 points of sale, in cities such as Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica and Bijeljina.
However, it seems that the promise 0f 20% lower prices was not enough to attract local consumers to the no-frills discounter.
At this moment, it is unclear whether the closure of the store in Eastern Sarajevo will impact the future of Mere’s operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In neighbouring Serbia, the company has had more success, opening 20 stores throughout the country since commencing operations there in February 2021.
The EU sanctions against Russia have led to changes in the group's assortment, due to the associated impact on the logistics network and prices of goods imported from Russia.
The situation has forced Svetofor, which owns the Mere brand, to increase cooperation not only with Serbian suppliers, but also those from neighbouring countries.
In Serbia, the Russian retailer operates under two banners – Svetofor Marketi and Mere Market.
In recent months, Svetofor has pulled out a number of other European markets, including the UK, where it had previously outlined plans to open as many as 300 stores.
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.