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Russian low-cost supermarket chain Mere to open stores in Belgium
Mere, the Russian low-cost supermarket chain, wants to open a dozen stores in Belgium this year, according to reports. No information has been released as yet as to where these stores will be located.
Part of the Torgservis group based in Siberia, Mere claims to be one of the largest low-cost retail chains in Eastern Europe. The company is also present in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan under the "Svetofor" brand.
Mere has more than 2,500 supermarkets offering food and non-food items, with a focus on typical Eastern European products.
It began its expansion within the European Union in 2018 with initial stores opening in Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Germany.
In addition to Belgium, where it already has an office in Ixelles, the brand plans to expand into France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Mere offers a ‘no frills’ shopping experience in its supermarkets with goods arranged on wooden pallets or in cardboard boxes. The company operates with the minimum of staff in order to keep prices as low as possible.
Mere intends to fill the gap in the low-cost supermarket landscape created by the move away from basic shopping by German brands Lidl and Aldi which have expanded their offerings to certain major brands in recent years while investing in more traditional and eye-catching shelf presentation. Mere says its supermarkets will not be in direct competition with Lidl and Aldi.