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A Russian supermarket brand is about to hit the UK and it claims to be cheaper than the likes of Aldi and Lidl.
Svetofor, a food discounter first founded in Siberia, is looking to open its first stores in the UK this summer.
Having built up more than 3,000 stores internationally since it opened in 2009, it has been trading in Europe under the name Mere since 2018.
Four stores are set to open in the UK this year, with two in Wales - in Mold and Caldicot - and two in the north of England, one in Preston and one in Castleford.
The first one will open in Ribbleton, Preston is on the site of an old Nisa.
Mere UK's head of buying, Pavels Antonovs, said that the brand will undercut the UK's cheapest supermarkets by 20-30 percent.
The model sees suppliers deliver directly to the stores, which are also warehouses. They will be around 10,000 sq ft, have walk in chiller rooms and a huge freezer. This means that multi-temperature ranges will be sold straight from the pallet.
Priding itself on simplicity, essentially cuts out the traditional supermarket process, meaning it's similar to Costco, but with no membership fee.
Each store will have a maximum of 1,200 SKUs or different items. This is in comparison to 1,400 in Aldi, while traditional supermarkets can have up to 40,000.
There will be eight members of staff - a director, four cashiers and three who handle the deliveries.
Antonovs said: "We are the gap in the market. We don't have any competitors.
"Our model is no service and no marketing."
Part of the business model means that stock is bought from suppliers on a 'sale or return basis'. This means that Mere only pays for things they sell, returning those they don't.
But this has meant that suppliers are wary of signing up. According to The Grocer, one supplier said it's a 'rare' arrangement in large-scale food retail.
Antonovs added: "Some will understand us, some won't. There are already around 30 business that will 70% fill our shops.
"I have just now met with a manufacturer with a turnover of £150m and we signed for eight SKUs.
"On 13 March, we opened a store in Latvia and the queue outside was 570 people. In Germany, when we opened our first store, it had been bought out [of stock] in two days."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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