New supermarket where ‘every aisle is like Aldi’s middle section’

A new supermarket, which claims to undercut all other budget retailers by up to 30 per cent, has opened its doors to the people of Lancashire this month.

Mere, which operates as ‘Svetofor’ in its origin country of Russia, launched its first UK store in Preston earlier this month at the Miller Road site, taking the place of the grocery wholesaler, Nisa.

Owners also have plans to open more three more stores in Castleford, Mold and Caldicot.

After being founded in the Russian region of Siberia in 2009, owners have opened over 3,200 supermarkets internationally, including in Germany, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

Reporters from LancsLive visited Mere to find out what all the fuss was about.

Mere prides itself on the idea that simplicity is key, with their stores having “no frills, shelves or points of convenience”, with all labels and prices being large sheets of yellow paper, sometimes containing printed images.

All items and produce are stacked upon palettes and boxes, providing the appearance of a wholesaler such as Costco, as opposed to a supermarket.

The arrangement of the products instantly gives customers the same feeling as when they’ll strolling through the middle aisles at retailers like Aldi and Lidl due to the sheer range and broad selection.

Mere prides itself on having "no frills, shelves or points of convenience"
Mere prides itself on having “no frills, shelves or points of convenience”
(Image: LancsLive)

Upon entry to Mere, customers are met with Tornado Essential Vacuum Cleaners to their left, with LED speakers and PG Tips on the right. Facing these items are best-selling toiletries like Tresemme Shampoo and hand sanitisers.

As well as the store’s appealing arrangement, the competitively-low prices are what will likely keep customers coming back.

Tresemme shampoo, which tends to retail around the £2.50+ mark, is being sold for a £1.99. PG Tips are selling at £1.75 whilst Shreddies cereal, which is usually around the £2 in UK supermarkets, is being sold at £1.30 at Mere.

Warrior energy drinks are priced at a mere 22p, whilst Goodwins Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles are selling at 35pm.

Tornado Essential Vacuum Cleaners amongst some of their best selling products
Tornado Essential Vacuum Cleaners amongst some of their best selling products
(Image: LancsLive)

Refrigerators line the walls of the store, containing a significant amount of fresh food, particularly seafood, all of which is being sold at a surprisingly low price. Customers can get their hands on Tempura Battered Fish for a mere £1.85, Raw IQF King Prawns for £1.50 and Fish Burgers for £2.30.

As well as this, another fridge system can be located at the back of the store, which is solely dedicated to Garstang cheese being sold at prices as low as £1.20.

Amongst Mere’s most ‘expensive’ products is Bunch in a Box 3L wine, which stands out for being priced at £23.50.

Bunch in a Box 3L wine is being sold at £23.50 at Mere
Bunch in a Box 3L wine is being sold at £23.50 at Mere
(Image: LancsLive)

Like customer favourites Aldi and Lidl, Mere is also promoting a vast range of homeware and household items. Cushions are being sold from £3.40, doormats for £3.99 and plastic bins for £1.90.

An enormous collection of sweets and toys for children can also be found at this section of the store, with Funko Pop figurines being sold for as little as £2.90.

Despite misunderstanding, Mere is does not sell exclusively Russian produce or items. Though the supermarket originated in Russia, it is jam-packed full of British brands.

LancsLive reported however, that it may be “quite difficult to get your full weekly shop at Mere” because “it does have less variety than your average supermarket”, and has “large quantities of one chosen product”.

In spite of this, it is very likely that customers to Mere will slowly become more familiar with the types of items and brands being sold, and the supermarket will likely prove to be a fantastic space to hunt for rare and niche bargains.

To find out more, please visit the Mere website here.

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