Mere, "the Russian Aldi", coming soon to France

The Russian hard-discount chain Mere could set up shops in France by the end of the year. Three cities are being targeted initially, in the North of France and in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region.

Mere is a subsidiary of the Russian group Svetofor, which owns more than 3,000 discount shops. Created in 2009, the retailer is present under this brand in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China. Since 2018, it has been launching the Mere brand in Europe: Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Germany.

The first two Mere stores have just opened in Spain, near Madrid and Valencia. The company also has its sights set on Bulgaria, Greece, Great Britain, Austria, Italy and Belgium, where ten shops are planned for this year. On its Belgian website, Mere says it is looking for premises with a surface area of 750 to 1,200 m².

Like Lidl and Aldi when they arrived in France, Mere, which promises the lowest prices on the market, is banking on lower operating costs. In its shops with an ultra-basic warehouse layout, the products are presented on racks, or directly on pallets. The fresh products are stored in a small refrigerated room.

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