Budget supermarket chain dubbed Russian Lidl to open first UK stores this year

A Russian supermarket named the new Lidl is planning to come to the UK this summer.

The chain, known as Mere, is to open stores all over Britain as it takes on popular discounters including Aldi and the "Big Four".

It has confirmed plans to open its first four UK outlets this summer and it's looking for landlords across the country.

The business is appealing for landlords to contact via its website.

It said: "We are looking for suitable locations across UK to expand our retail chain.

"At the moment we are involved with landlords, their representatives and agents with the aim to open our Mere retail stores ASAP."

The Grocer reports a number of locations in the UK will open the new retailer.

These include: Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton, south Scotland and Wales.

Mere said its first UK store will open in Preston next month in a former Nisa branch.

After it would be followed by a second site in the north of England, in Castleford, and two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot.

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The chain, founded in 2009, is known as Svetofor in Russia.

It has about 3,200 stores internationally and has been opening in Europe since 2018 with supermarkets in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

As well as opening a number of chains in the UK, Mere hopes to expand in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria.

The company claims it will undercut existing UK supermarkets by 20%-30%.

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Its low-staff retail model will see suppliers delivering directly to stores and goods sold from pallets.

Stores feature a walk-in chiller room and only eight workers to keep the costs down.

Each supermarket in the UK will have around 1,200 items, but it won't sell items like newspapers, magazines and other premium, branded goods.

Pavels Antonovs, Head of Buying at Mere, said: "We are the gap in the market. We don't have any competitors. Our model is no service and no marketing."

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