The controversial Russian discount chain Simple explores expansion opportunities in the United States. A project manager is to open stores in Georgia and Alabama.
Cheaper than Aldi and Lidl
Russian discounter Mere wants to expand into the United States. This emerges from a vacant position reported by the trade magazine Winsight Grocery Business. The brand, which brings back the “hard” to the hard discount, is looking for a project manager in the USA. He prefers to speak Russian and must be an expert in commercial real estate.
The intention is that the future project manager will provide locations for the stores in the Georgia and Alabama States Investigate, negotiate leases and efficiently open stores. Mere may be focusing on Alabama and Georgia, as these rural areas still have many small self-employed people today. Mass discounters like Walmart in General dollar are on the rise.
However, Mere promises to be even cheaper than Aldi in Lidl, by selling a limited base line of products directly from pallets. For example, there are no unpackaged fresh produce in European stores, but there is lots of leftovers and loose packaging find. In its home country, Russia, the retailer developed this concept – under the name Svetofor – ranked among the ten largest supermarket chains, with some 2,500 stores in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia since its inception in 2009.
Mere is also growing strongly outside of the United States and Russia. The first UK branch will open soon and there are also Belgian projects. Only the Russians have not yet managed to get the word out: the Belgian construction looks a bit shady and the planned opening in Opwijk doesn’t seem to have much going on at the moment. German growth is also much slower than expected, with just five of the hundred planned stores opening after two years.
The choice for the United States is also striking, as his Russian compatriot Retail Group X5 already made an attempt with the Okey-Dokey discount formula in Florida. All five stores closed after a year.
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