Does Mere have a chance for success in Poland?

Wpis dostępny jest także w języku: polski

In Czestochowa, the first shop of the Russian network Mere was opened, operating in the form of a hard discount. All goods are sold there on pallets or straight from boxes. Does such a concept have a chance for success on the Polish market?

The discount segment is increasingly saturated, but still with good forecasts

According to PMR’s forecasts, the discount channel still has good growth prospects on the Polish market, but it is proximity supermarkets and convenience stores that will benefit most from the coming years. Therefore, all discount chains on the Polish market are undergoing transformation, from hard discount to soft discount and a format closer to supermarkets (with service from behind the counter for cold cuts and cheese). They are expanding their offer of fresh products, introducing delicatessen products, healthy food or ready meals.

The Mere chain goes completely against this. The announced plan to open about 100 establishments does not seem to be realistic to implement. It is doubtful that the chain could threaten the operations of discount chains present on the Polish market. Additionally, the discount segment is becoming more and more saturated, and after Tesco’s acquisition by Netto, another several hundred outlets will join it.

Will Mere convince the Polish consumer?

Of course, the coronavirus has to some extent changed the consumer behaviour of Poles, restored the importance of price or reduced demand for premium products. However, not enough for the hard discount formula to return to sales channels to a large extent. Possible development opportunities for Mere can be seen in small and medium-sized towns, located far from large agglomerations.

An additional problem may be poor recognition of the Mere brand and, consequently, a lack of trust in it (the network currently does not conduct any marketing activities). Therefore, Poles may also be distrustful of products available in the shop which are not branded products and their own brand is not well known to them.

More about discounters and the grocery market in Poland in the latest PMR report: Grocery retail market in Poland 2020. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2020-2025.

About the author

Agnieszka Skonieczna

Retail Business Unit Director

Analyst with over twelve years of experience. She heads the Retail department at PMR. Areas of specialisation: grocery retail, DIY and home furnishing markets.

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