Russian discounter Mere relaunches as My price in Belgium

By: Rennack Sebastian Date: 2024. 02. 26. 09:18

Active expansion in Serbia and the Baltics

The Russian hard discounter Mere does not give up on Western Europe. After the no-frills operator in 2022 pulled the plug on its operations in Western Europe following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the company has relaunched its business in Belgium. Under the banner ‘My Price’ two stores have recently opened in the country, a third one is announced to open its doors soon. The build-up for a second round of expansion seems to be serious. Currently the discounter is looking for an administrative assistant, a purchasing assistant, a store manager as well as a procurement specialist. And also other West-European countries might be on the agenda for a return. The new website features also maps of France and Germany. In the German trade register Mere’s parent company ‘TS Markt’ is still marked as active entity.

The Belgian trade register shows that My Price’s legal entity Lightkommerz was founded in autum 2020 and is registered at the same address in the city Opwijk as its current first store. Predecessor Mere opened its doors on this site in summer 2022 but closed its operations already four months later due to lack of supplies that were mainly sourced from Russia.

Commercial terms of My Price mirror those of Mere: Weekly payments to suppliers based on the volume of goods sold and 100% return of unsold merchandise to the manufacturer. And although store interiors, monopallet merchandising and high rack shelves strongly remind of the Mere sales concepts, My Price is working with external price communication. The Belgian leaflet offers 20 FMCG products for 50 euros, according to the retailer a discount of 42.05 Euro.

In Central and Eastern Europe the mother company Torgservis operates under its Svetofor and Mere banners. As latest available data from Russian market research company Infoline states, the retailer in the first half of 2023 achieved in its home country a growth of 9.8% to 200 billion Russian roubles (around 2 billion euros). The retailer claims to currently operate a store estate of 4,000 stores in Russia and abroad.

Outside of Russia and Belarus Mere has its strongest European presence in Lithuania and in Serbia. In the Baltic state the company currently operates 26 stores (2022: 19) and according to balance sheet data achieved a net revenue of 47 million euros in 2022 and a net loss of above 100,000 euros. In Serbia, there are currently 20 Mere and 23 Svetofor stores (2022: 13). Here the retailer achieved a joint net revenue for both banner of 48 million euros with a net loss of 360,000 euros.

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