A Russian store chain is coming to Hungary: April Fool’s joke or reality?

By: Trademagazin Date: 2024. 04. 04. 11:40

The news that the Russian Lidl, i.e. Mere, will appear in Hungary later this year stirred up a lot of public opinion. The expansion would be huge, they plan to build a network with a turnover of hundreds of billions in three years and open at least two hundred stores. However, strangely enough, no one knew about it, not even at Mere – it seems that the news was an April Fool’s joke.

Indeed: the news hit the Hungarian press on April 1. The news was first reported by Haszon.hu, who learned about the development on the basis of an e-mail, which – supposedly – representatives of the Russian discount store sent to their potential business partners at the end of February. The e-mail also contained specific investment plans, according to which twenty stores will be opened in Budapest and the agglomeration in the coming year, and two hundred stores are planned within three years, with a turnover of 700 million euros (roughly HUF 280 billion). These data can be compared with Lidl’s current position, since according to Mere’s plans, their turnover could be the eighth largest in Hungary, while Lidl reached this result in roughly 15 years, VG.hu points out.