After a long process of announcing, delaying and denying, Russian ‘super discounter’ Mere has opened its first Belgian store near Brussels. Can the new chain profit from the huge inflation caused by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, or will that rather cause anti-Russian sentiments?
Despite earlier retreat
The opening was a long time coming: the Siberian chain had rather ambitious plans for a European expansion, but had trouble finding locations and suppliers almost everywhere. A few days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the chain even said it would completely retreat from Western Europe, citing adverse circumstances.
The equally Siberian store design and very strict conditions for suppliers are aimed to ensure products are up to a quarter cheaper than even other discounters such as Aldi or Lidl. As such, the product range will also be very limited and ever-changing, depending on which products can be bought following the strict demanded price concessions at a certain time.