A new Russian discount supermarket, which has been dubbed cheaper than Aldi or Lidl, is opening stores around the UK - and Plymouth is on its list of locations. Svetofor, operating under the name Mere, is a Russian discount supermarket that has 3,200 stores worldwide and a spokesperson for the company confirmed a list of places it would like to open in the UK when talking to The Grocer. It included three locations in the South West: Exeter, Plymouth and then more generally Devon.
The company expanded to Europe in 2018 and this year will be the first time for it to open a supermarket in this country. So what else do we know about the discount chain coming to our city? Here's what we know so far.
Mere is a budget supermarket claiming to be 30 percent cheaper than the UK's most affordable supermarkets, such as Aldi and Lidl. The brand announced its UK openings earlier this month, with the first store set to launch at a former Nisa branch in Preston, Lancashire. Mere also confirmed plans for four other stores, located in Wales and Yorkshire.
The shops will be in Mold in North Wales, Caldicot in southern Wales, and Castleford in West Yorkshire. At the moment, the brand is giving little else away on their social media, with signs saying 'coming soon'. Their Instagram bio reads: "Our profile is the retail chain in the food sector that offers its customers good goods for little money."Russian supermarket coming to Exeter and Plymouth (Image: MereRetail)
Speaking to The Grocer, the supermarket announced more potential future store openings across the UK.
Mere UK stores - full list Cardiff Banbury
Barnsley Beckenham Bradford
Devon Exeter Gloucester
Grantham Kettering Middlesborough
Neath Northampton Oswestry
Plymouth Selby Sheffield
Southampton Stretford Southern Scotland
Wales However this list is only locations that the company is considering, as they will need the help of third parties. Mere is appealing for landlords to contact it via its website, and require sites of around 10,000 sq ft.
On its website, Mere said: "We are looking for suitable locations across UK to expand our retail chain. "At the moment, despite coronavirus, we are actively involved with landlords, their representatives and agents with the aim to open our Mere retail stores ASAP." The budge supermarket's requirements are sites of around 10,000 sq ft, with parking spaces for up to 40 cars, and a local population of 60,000 or more.
While you're here, can you fill in our quick survey? The story continues below. Pavels Antonovs, Head of Buying at Mere UK, commented on the possible future openings.
"I have just now met with a manufacturer with a turnover of GBP150million and we signed for eight SKUs. "On March 13, 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."
Svetofor has about 3,200 stores internationally and has been opening in Europe under the name Mere since 2018, with stores in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine.
As well as the UK, it plans to soon expand in Italy, Spain, Greece, and Bulgaria.
Its UK stores will have around 1,200 products in every branch, but will only have eight members of staff.