Russian budget store Mere announces plan to target Shropshire

A Shropshire market town is being targeted by a cut-price Russian supermarket chain.

Inside a Mere supermarket
Inside a Mere supermarket

Discount grocery store Mere claims to be 30 per cent cheaper than Aldi and Lidl and boasts it will not even have shelves in its shops.

Bosses have revealed that they will open the first-ever Mere store in the UK this summer.

And a list of towns the chain is targeting into the future includes Oswestry.

The north Shropshire town already has two Aldi stores, a Lidl, Sainsbury and Morrison as well as several Co-ops and other convenience stores.

Mere says its first store will open in Preston on August 14.

A mere supermarket could soon be in Oswestry

It should have opened at the start of 2021 before being put back to June and then eventually August due to the pandemic delaying construction.

Aleksandr Chkalov, Mere UK business development manager, told The Grocer magazine: “On 14 August we will be glad to present our new retail model: a real hard discounter, with no shelves, no service, no convenience, just the lowest prices.”

He said the stores would sell up to 1,200 products.

As well as opening in Preston, a further three Mere outlets are also planned this year - at Mold in north Wales, Caldicot, and Castleford in Yorkshire.

Mr Chkalov did not give any dates for opening other stores but revealed Oswestry in Shropshire was on the list of towns on its medium term list for new stores.

It is the only town in Shropshire that has been mentioned.

As well as Oswestry Mere is also targeting an unknown location in Devon, Stockport, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Stretford, Southampton, and in south Scotland.

In total, the discounter has said it wants to open 300 sites in the UK in the next eight to 10 years. However other locations have not been released.

Kwik Save, which had a store in English Walls Oswestry, was a major discount retailers in the 1970s but it was taken over by other retailers and the name disappeared.

German discounters Lidl and Aldi revolutionised the supermarket wars some years later with big names like Tesco and Sainbury having to cut prices and introduce their own, basic brands to compete.

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