Original article from Kent Live
A brand new supermarket is coming to the UK, and it claims to be cheaper than both Aldi and Lidl.
The supermarket has been branded the 'Russian Lidl' thanks to its low prices and extensive product range.
It will open its first-ever UK store in Preston this summer, in a former branch of Nisa.
The store, called Mere, was due to open at the start of 2021, then in June, as the pandemic delayed builders being able to work.
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Mere UK business development manager Aleksandr Chkalov told The Grocer: “On 14 August we will be glad to present our new retail model: a real hard discounter, with no shelves, no service, no convenience, just the lowest prices.”
Some of the brands that will be sold in the Preston store are Cusheen toilet paper, Maxsonic batteries, Reach sanitising wipes and Warrior energy drinks.
It will have up to 1,200 products overall, according to the Mirror.
As well as opening in Preston, a further three Mere outlets are also planned this year – including two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot, and another in Castleford in the north of England.
The full list of sites Mere is targetting is: Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton, south Scotland and Wales.
In total, the discounter has said it wants to open 300 sites in the UK in the next eight to ten years – but no other locations have been confirmed.
Mere, which trades as Svetofor in Russia, has 3,200 stores internationally and opened its first European Mere store in 2018.
Countries it now operates in include Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.
Mere stores are expected to double up as warehouses, with images from other sites across Europe showing items displayed on pallets.
Shoppers pick items directly from these pallets, saving Mere time and money on stacking shelves.
Suppliers are also expected to deliver straight to the shops, which will each be about 10,000 sq ft.
Each must have parking spaces for 30-40 cars and a local population of 60,000 or more.
As well as fresh food, Mere shops across Europe also have chilled and frozen ranges.
They won’t sell items such as newspapers, magazines and other premium, branded goods.
Each store in the UK will have just eight staff, to keep costs down.
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