Russian supermarket claims to be cheaper than Lidl or Aldi... and it wants to open in Northampton

Mere claims its no-frills model can undercut UK rivals by 30 percent

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14th May 2021, 10:44 am
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:11 am

A Russian supermarket dubbed cheaper than Lidl and Aldi is said to have Northampton on its list of target towns to break into the UK market.

Mere says it operates on a "no service and no marketing” model and claims it can undercut even its cheapest UK rivals by up to 30 percent.

The UK arm of parent company Svetofor already has sites lined up to open this summer in the north and in Wales — in Preston, Castleford, Mold and Caldicot.

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Russian Mere is set to take on Aldi and Lidl in the UK market.

Northampton and Kettering are both on a longer hit list of potential UK locations.

Mere UK head of buying Pavels Antonovs told “We are the gap in the market. We don’t have any competitors. Our model is no service and no marketing.

“On 13 March, we opened a store in Latvia and the queue outside was 570 people. In Germany, when we opened our first store, it had been bought out [of stock] in two days.”

Mere stores have been opening across Europe since 2018 including in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

Mere operates on a 'no service, no marketing' model with suppliers delivering pallets of goods straight to the store.

Plans are for more soon in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria as well as the UK.

The Russians' no-frills model sees suppliers expected to deliver direct to stores cutting out the need for warehouses.

Each will be about 10,000 sq ft and include a walk-in chiller room and “huge freezer,” allowing multi-temperature ranges to be sold directly from the pallets on which they arrive.

The business prides itself on extreme simplicity, which it likens to a Costco but with no membership fee and no in-store service.

Each store is to have a maximum of 1,200 different items on sale and only eight staff, including a director, four cashiers and three to handle deliveries.

According to trade publication The Grocer, Mere's list of target towns in England and Wales includes Northampton, Kettering, Banbury, Devon, Stockport, Neath, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford and Southampton