A Russian discount supermarket chain which is the country's answer to Lidl and Aldi is to open branches in the UK. Svetofor, which trades as Mere in Europe, first opened in Siberia in 2009 and claims to be even cheaper than the German discount chains. Svetofor says groceries it sells are up to 30% less than other shops like Ald or Lidl.
The Russian chain currently has 3,200 stores and opened its first European Mere branch in 2018. It already has shops in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and the Ukraine.
It is reported to be ready to open its first UK branch next month - at a former Nisa in Preston. A further three shops are also planned - including two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot, and another in Castleford in the north of England.
Speaking to trade magazine The Grocer, Pavels Antonovs said Mere prices will undercut even the cheapest supermarkets. Mr Antonovs said: "We are the gap in the market. We don't have any competitors.
Our model is no service and no marketing." Mere stores are expected to double up as warehouses, with images from other sites across Europe showing items displayed on palettes. 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.