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‘Russian Lidl’ Mere Planning 300 UK Stores

A discount supermarket chain dubbed the ‘Russian Lidl’ is planning on opening over 300 new stores in the next decade and has already confirmed plans to open four stores this year, with the first to open in summer.

According to trade magazine The Grocer, Mere, which trades as Svetofor in Russia, has announced its expansion plans to open hundreds more stores in the UK in the next eight to ten years. Mere has 3,200 stores internationally and opened its first European store in 2018.

The first-ever UK store was scheduled to open in Preston in June but now has been pushed back to mid-July. Three more UK stores are planned this year, with two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot, and one more in Castleford in the north of England.

The Mirror has reported on the locations in which Mere hopes to open up stores, but nothing has yet been confirmed.

Mere stores in Europe effectively double up as warehouses, with images from existing sites showing items displayed on palettes. Suppliers deliver straight to the shops, cutting down costs on having to store items elsewhere.

As well as fresh food, Mere shops across Europe also have chilled and frozen ranges. Each store in the UK will have around 1,200 items, just eight staff, and be around 10,000 sq ft.

Mere UK head of buying Pavels Antonovs said the supermarket’s prices will undercut even the cheapest supermarkets.

Antonovs 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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