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Russian discounter challenges Aldi & Lidl

This is going to be exciting: a Russian food discounter is to venture into the very same country that once invented the 'Discount' model, perfected it and made it huge. The country in which consumers of any low-cost store always expect top quality, despite low prices: Germany. Torgservis is the name of the company in question, and it is based in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Twelve hours by airplane to the west, in Leipzig, its German subsidiary TS-Markt is expected to open its first store on German soil this year.

If the company's strategy succeeds, consumers can look forward to a new food price war. The term "cheap discounter" actually sounds like a tautology because it consists of a repetition. But it will fit the new chain -which is expected to be called "Mere", with red letters on a yellow background. Their slogan puts the concept into four words: "Only low prices daily". What is meant by that exactly can be seen in Romania, where the company is active already. In a shopping center near Bucharest, basic food products like milk, salt, coffee or pasta cost up to 20 percent less at than neighboring competitors Lidl and Aldi, according to market observers. In Germany, it is most likely that a similar price ratio will be sought after.

The shopping experience is expected to be Spartan: pallets, boxes, boxes, neon lights. And Torgservis' existing stores overseas already point at this, but it also becomes clear from the list of shop fittings on the German website. The new company, that will open on Berlin's Allee der Kosmonauten, is mainly looking for heavy duty shelves, wire mesh boxes and rough tables, and of course fruit and vegetable stands. Of regular store shelves, let alone fresh food counters there is no question.


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