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Preston’s ‘Russian Lidl’ Mere to close as Ukraine conflict intensifies

Posted on - 7th March, 2022 - 9:26am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston News, Ribbleton
An example of what the Mere store could look like. Pic: Mere

Political pressure caused by the Ukraine invasion has led to a Russian supermarket chain closing its Preston store.

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On Thursday 3 March, budget supermarket Mere announced it is also halting any further openings as the ongoing conflict has made it difficult to conduct business in the UK – according to reports in The Grocer.

On the same day, management told Preston Mere staff that the Ribbleton-based supermarket would close in two weeks despite only opening its doors last summer.

Read more: Mayor of Preston appeals for urgent donations for Ukraine

Founded in 2009, Mere is known as the ‘Russian version of Lidl’ and claims to be 30 per cent cheaper than Aldi and Lidl, with around 3,000 stores worldwide utilising a ‘low-cost operating model’ and small staff numbers.

The retailer has also found it problematic to trade in the UK after struggling to find suppliers that provided products on a sale-only payment agreement.

As a result, Mere could not secure sufficient stock and lacked food lines, although the Preston branch had seen some improvements last week, including a frozen food line.

Read more: Fulwood collections point set up for Ukraine donations

The Svetofor-based retailer had plans to establish a UK estate comprising 300 branches over the next eight to ten years, but the firm has cancelled its UK expansion indefinitely.

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