Mere is the latest supermarket chain to want to conquer Spain. The Russian supermarket is a real price fighter and – despite the fact the Spanish consumer has other ideas – will maintain its strategy in Spain.
It is highly likely the name Mere is still relatively unknown in Spain. Nevertheless, Mere’s general manager, Andrey Murzov, told Spanish news site Efe their goal is to open the first Mere supermarket in Spain as early as May. Murzov said he wants to focus mainly on the Spanish regions of Madrid, Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia and part of Andalucia.
Russian chain maintains its own retail model
Just like Aldi and Lidl, Mere wants to offer the best prices to its customers every day. It will do this by saving on operating costs such as rent, furnishing of buildings and staff. An example Murzov gives is of products offered to the customer directly on pallets and still in boxes. As the supplier places the products directly in the store, the supermarket requires fewer personnel.
Spanish consumers have different wishes and requirements
However, this strategy goes against the general Spanish consumers’ likes. According to Efe, industry sources’s research shows Spanish customers place great value on shopping in a pleasant and attractive environment. This is why many chains have invested in store refurbishment, to make them more attractive to the customer.
The biggest examples of this are Aldi and Lidl, who started with such a store model – narrow aisles and many products. However, they have changed their stores’ layout and produce, paying more attention to the presentation of their products and offering more fresh produce.
Russian supermarket has ambitious plans
The director of Mere says they are pursuing their own strategy. Mere has several contracts with suppliers in Spain already. For the time being, they will not offer an online service or its own private label.
By the end of 2021, Mere hopes to open between ten and fifteen stores in Spain. By 2025, there should be around one hundred Mere supermarkets across Spain. Within ten years, the chain hopes to be among the twenty largest retailers in the world. In 2017, Mere began to set foot outside of Russia with stores in Romania, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.