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Supermarket chain dubbed the 'Russian Lidl' plans to open 40 stores in Spain this year

Everything is sold from pallets or boxes. File photograph.
Everything is sold from pallets or boxes. File photograph. / SUR
  • The first Mere stores will be opened in Catalonia, but the supermarket chain also plans to open in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, León, Soria, Palencia and on the Costa del Sol before the end of the year

Mere, the supermarket chain that has been dubbed 'the Russian Lidl', is planning to open 40 stores across Spain - including Malaga - before the end of the year.

These are stores with a business model that promises prices up to 30 per cent cheaper thanks to the savings in local costs, personnel and also in packaging and size. "We do not need shiny and attractive wrapping," says the company that explains that its supermarkets do not have shelves or sales assistants. Everything is sold without frills from pallets or boxes, a model that is reminiscent of other supermarket chains such as Lidl and Aldi.

The company explains on its website, "The objective is to open supermarkets in all major cities in Spain and establish solid relationships with national suppliers and throughout Europe."

"We are already in Spain"

The first supermarkets will be opened in Catalonia, but according to the trade magazine Inforetail, stores in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, León, Soria, Palencia and Malaga will follow and the company's goal is to have 40 stores open in Spain by the end of the year, with the first being inaugurated in May.

Mere is the commercial name chosen by the Russian 'hard discount' operator Svetofor, founded in 2009 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, for its expansion in Western Europe. With more than 800 supermarkets in Russia, it is the third largest chain in the country after the giants X5 and Magnit. At present, in addition to the Romanian market, it has stores in Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania.

"We are already in Spain," says the official website of the discount chain inviting shop owners and suppliers of consumer goods to "cooperate".

Mere is looking for store locations in towns or a short distance from them, in industrial areas or near busy roads with easy access to the premises and the possibility of parking for 30 to 40 vehicles. The sales area of its stores is between 800 and 1,200 square metres and it intends to establish business hours from 9am to 9pm every day of the week.