Mere’s expansion is slowed

Mere Store Front

Russian hard discounter Mere is slowing down its ambitious expansion plans in Western Europe. A few months ago, it had announced that by the end of this year, it would open ten stores in Belgium, and at least three in France and the UK. So far, only one store in the UK opened, with a delay because there weren’t enough products for the store.

Mere operates without warehouses; each store is a self-service warehouse without shelves. Products are stacked on pallets directly delivered by suppliers. The problem seems to be that the company has trouble finding suppliers in this region. It has very strict conditions for its suppliers: they have to offer their goods considerably cheaper than at the competition, they are responsible for the delivery of products to the stores and have to take back unsold goods. Once Mere succeeds in finding local suppliers that are willing to agree with its terms, it could fill the gap created by the upgrade of Aldi and Lidl in Western Europe.