UK’s ‘cheapest supermarket’ that says it’s cheaper than Aldi and Lidl takes crushing blow


Earlier this year a new supermarket chain launched in Britain that claimed to be ‘30% cheaper than Lidl and Aldi’ opened in the UK.

The Mere opened its first store – with plans to open two more by the end of 2021.

Its business model is based on being the cheapest, with goods stacked on pallets on the floor for customers to pick up as they shop.

Mere originally planned to open more than 300 stores in the UK over the next eight to ten years.

The firm will now not open its second and third UK stores until next year, having originally planned to open them this year.

Mere UK business development manager Aleksandr Chkalov told The Grocer that it was “not an easy time to provide everything” shoppers need.

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

But hiring the right staff is also an issue, he said.

“The most important thing is the right team and recruitment is the hardest task, not only in the UK but all countries,” Chkalov said.

“We have tried hiring people with lots of experience at other retailers and it’s a problem. With their knowledge, it’s difficult to understand our format, to believe it’s real.”

But next year would be different, he said.

“We’re going in the right direction,” Chkalov added. “In the first half of next year there will be big changes for our customers.”

As well as opening in Preston, a further three Mere outlets were planned this year – including two in Wales, in Mold and Caldicot, and another in Castleford in the north of England.

Mere has been approached for comment.

Everything in Mere is geared around keeping costs down, says the Mirror.

Suppliers deliver straight to the shops, cutting down costs on having to store items elsewhere. Each store in the UK will have just eight staff.

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

The downside is this adds a bit longer to your shopping trip. In a normal supermarket, with everything unpacked on shelves it is easy to see what you’re looking for.

In Mere, you have to get right up close to many pallets to see what they contain.

The new supermarket has managed to meet its promise to be super-cheap.

For example, a 400g packet of dried pasta costs just 23p at Mere. The same thing costs 29p at Aldi, and between 45-50p in most other supermarkets.


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