Russian Chain Mere Closing First UK Store

Russian supermarket chain Mere is closing its first UK store following the invasion of Ukraine last week, according to reports. Known as the “Russian version of Lidl”, this discounter has also reportedly paused plans to open more outlets.

Mere is said to have told suppliers of its decision to close and said due to the political situation in Russia and Ukraine; it has halted planned UK expansion.

The retailer, which trades as Svetofor in Russia, branded itself cheaper than any other store. According to Mere, its products cost 30 percent less than Aldi and Lidl. However, Mere had found bringing its model to the UK more challenging than expected. Many suppliers have been unwilling to agree to its terms, particularly the practice of payment only for sold products. As a result, Mere has struggled to gain enough supplier support to impact the UK market.

It opened its first UK store in August 2021.