The “Russian Lidl”, even cheaper, landed in France.

The Russian-born hard-discounter Mere announced on his site that he would open three stores in eastern France in October, confirming information from

L'Express

.

Already present in Germany, Spain, Romania, Poland and Lithuania, the cheapest brand in Europe indicates on its website that it wants to "open stores in all the major cities of France" and "establish links with suppliers throughout Europe ”.

In the immediate term, “the development of the network” in France will begin with stores in Pont-Sainte-Marie, a town in the Aube known for its factory outlets (Marques City), Sainte-Marguerite, in the Vosges, and Thionville, in Moselle.

Suppliers paid only for goods sold

Claiming "store prices 10 to 20% lower than the market average", Mere started in 2009 in Siberia and today has 1,500 stores in Russia.

The group majority controlled by the Schneider family who founded it began to develop outside Russia in 2015, and is now present, in addition to the European countries already mentioned, in China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus.

The company plans to “actively develop in the countries of the European Union and in Asia”.

It is based in particular on a particular model, paying suppliers only for the goods sold, sending them back those which are not.

A practice that has made its way into Russian e-commerce as well, introduced in particular by Wildberries, the number one in the sector in the country.

According to the Russian analysis agency Infoline, in 2020 Mere was one of the two distribution chains with the strongest growth in turnover (+ 40% to 189 billion rubles).

An increase which can be explained by the crisis caused by the pandemic, but which is more generally part of the longer-term decline in the incomes of Russian consumers.

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