Russian Discounter Mere Aiming For 300 UK Stores: Reports
Russian discounter Mere is looking to open as many as 300 stores in the UK over the coming decade, trade publication The Grocer has reported.
According to the publication, the retailer is seeking to hit this target within the next 'eight to ten years'.
The group, which trades as Svetofor in its native Russia, has said that it plans to undercut the prices offered by rival discounters such as Aldi and Lidl by as much as 30%, with its no-frills retail offering.
"Given the rise of the discounters over the years Mere will certainly be attractive to a large number of shoppers which will help it become a success," Chris Elliott, head of market insights at Edge by Ascential, tells ESM.
"However, the main obstacle I see to that is its relationship with its suppliers. It asks an awful lot more than other supermarkets in the UK, so its success will hinge on long-term conducive supplier relationships. If it achieves that then I see no reason it won't be successful and start cannibalising share from the other players in the market, particularly the discounters."
Founded in 2009, Mere outlets typically display food and other items on pallets, while suppliers are required to delivery directly to stores. Each store boasts around 1,200 SKUs.
In May, Mere said on a dedicated UK website that it was seeking locations in Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton, as well as Wales and southern Scotland.
Mere's First Stores
The Grocer reported that the group's first outlet is due to open in Preston in mid-July, followed by openings in Castleford, Caldicot and Mould.
Also in May, the group also announced its plans to enter Belgium, with plans to open ten stores this year in the country, with the business operating a Belgium office in Ixelles, near Brussels. It also recently announced a planned expansion in Serbia.
Mere commenced its European journey with the opening of an office in Romania in 2017, while it also operates central purchasing offices in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Greece.