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‘Russian Lidl’ Mere reveals plans to open 300 stores

A discount supermarket chain that is being billed as ‘Russian Aldi’ wants to take on the British food giants but may struggle to find non-contested locations, it has been reported.
Retailer Mere, which trades as in Europe Svetofor, plans to open more t…

A discount supermarket chain that is being billed as 'Russian Aldi' wants to take on the British food giants but may struggle to find non-contested locations, it has been reported. Retailer Mere, which trades as in Europe Svetofor, plans to open more than 300 stores in the UK within ten years. It has said it will open stores in spots where there is no discounted food shop - including Shropshire and parts of the Midlands.

But according to trade magazine The Grocer, CACI senior location planning consultant Charlotte King said there were "very few pockets of opportunity available for expansion" for Mere, which could be 30 per cent lower than Aldi or Lidl. CACI found 160 good locations where it faces no competition from existing discount supermarkets. READ MORE: 'The no singing or dancing rule takes the celebration away' - bride-to-be's heartbreak

The locations also need stores with a ground floor size of at least 10,000 sq ft and a local population of at least 60,000.

Video: New budget supermarket Mere set to 'open 300 UK stores' (Birmingham Mail)

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Another 100 possible locations where Aldi and Lidl operate already have also been identified. The retailer has already begun hiring staff for its planned stores in Preston, Lancashire, and Caldicot, Wales. It wants to open four UK stores this year, starting with Preston next month, then Caldicot, Castleford in West Yorkshire and Mold in Wales.

Mere is also considering opening stores in Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton and south Scotland. Mere is being smart and testing a variety of areas to see which it suits best, Charlotte said. For example, Preston and Castleford are urban areas with high numbers of families on a budget.

But Caldicot and Mold are more affluent, rural areas with many richer retired people. Svetofor has about 3,200 stores internationally and has been running in Europe since 2018. It already has 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.

A Mere spokesperson has been approached for comment.