A supermarket known as the “Russian version of Lidl” has finally started taking deliveries of stock ahead of the opening of its first UK store.
Discounter Mere – which claims to be 30% cheaper than Aldi and Lidl – is set to open its first ever UK store in Preston this summer.
It had originally planned to open in June, although this was pushed back – and now an exact date is said to depend on when it can complete finishing touches.
But in good news for its opening, trade magazine The Grocer reports that Mere is starting to accept deliveries of stock – hinting that the launch date is getting nearer.
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.
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 UK business development manager Aleksandr Chkalov told The Grocer: “We have started taking deliveries at the Preston store.”
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 palettes.
Suppliers are also expected to deliver straight to the shops, which will each be about 10,000 sq ft.
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 and just eight staff.
Of course we don’t know yet how its prices will compare to the likes of Aldi and Lidl – but the former was just named cheapest supermarket by The Grocer.
Aldi had the lowest price on 30 of the 33 products included in the magazine’s price comparison, including essential grocery items such as eggs, chicken and cereal.
The news closely follows Aldi’s recognition as the cheapest supermarket in the UK by consumer champion Which? last month.