‘Russian Lidl’ Mere suffers ‘delays’ to UK expansion amid hopes of Scots store opening

Scots shoppers could be in for a lengthy wait for a new Russian supermarket chain to open in Scotland.

Mere, which has been dubbed the ‘Russian Lidl’, opened its first ever UK branch in Preston earlier this year.

Bosses behind the firm also announced plans to open 300 branches across the UK within the next decade – with some in Scotland.

The firm published a wish list of areas where they would like to open, with ‘south Scotland’ included.

Russian retailer Mere , Ribbleton Preston
The firm’s first ever UK branch opened in Preston earlier this year

But it has been reported that Mere’s second and third UK supermarkets have been hit by delays.

Consumer magazine The Grocer reports that the company’s plans for expansion are being hampered by supply chain and recruitment challenges.

Mere UK business development manager Aleksandr Chkalov said that it was ‘not an easy time’ to provide shoppers with everything they need.

He added: “It’s not really working with suppliers right now, with all their problems with transport, drivers and fuel. I have to provide more meals, more meat products.”

Chkalov also described recruitment as the “hardest task” and added that their delivery of service is “difficult to understand”.

Suppliers deliver good straight to the shops, which cuts down costs on having to store them elsewhere.

Goods are stacked on pallets on the floor, with shoppers helping themselves to what they want.

Every store in the UK will just have eight staff.

Mere, which was first established in Siberia in 2009, describes itself as a “major operator in the low-price segment” that acts in a “simple and customer-centred manner”.

They also sell a “diverse range of high quality products” and supplies “fresh products”.

It has around 3,200 stores across the globe and has been opening in Europe since 2018.

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