Lidl

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Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG
Trading name Lidl
Type Privately held company
Industry Retailing
Founded 1930
Founders Dieter Schwarz
Headquarters Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Number of locations 9800 stores in 28 countries in Europe, expected to open stores in the USA by 2015[1]
Area served global
Key people Klaus Gehrig, Chairman
Products Discount store, hypermarket/supercenter/superstore
Revenue € 48,9 billion euro (2013)
Owners Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG
Employees 315,000
Parent Schwarz Gruppe
Divisions Lidl, Kaufland
Website lidl-info.com
A typical Lidl store in Nottingham, England, opened in 2011. Products are stacked on removable pallets for easy re-stocking
Lidl stores worldwide.
Dark blue: Current countries Lidl operates in.
Light blue: Planned expansion.
European countries in which Lidl is active
A Lidl store in Middlesbrough, UK
A Lidl store in Lomma, Sweden
A fake Lidl store in Egypt (the company does not officially trade here)
Lidl store in a former railway station in Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG (/ˈlɪdəl/ LI-dəl or local /ˈldl/ LEE-dəl; formally Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG) is a German global discount supermarket chain, based in Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany,[2] that operates over 10,000 stores across Europe. It belongs to the holding company Schwarz Gruppe, which also owns the store chains Handelshof and hypermarket Kaufland.

Lidl is the chief competitor of the similar German discount chain Aldi.

History[edit]

The company was founded in the 1940s by a member of the Schwarz family, and was called Schwarz Lebensmittel-Sortimentsgroßhandlung (Schwarz Assorted Wholesale Foods). Lidl has since its opening in 1973 established itself in over 20 countries throughout Europe. The name Lidl is the surname of a former business partner of Josef Schwarz's, Ludwig Lidl, a retired schoolteacher, and Josef's son Dieter Schwarz bought the rights to the name from him for 1,000 German Marks, as he could not use the name Schwarz Markt; schwarzmarkt means "black market". Lidl is part of the Schwarz Group, the fifth-largest retailer in the world with sales of $82.4 billion (2011).[3]

In 1930, Josef Schwarz became a partner in Südfrüchte Großhandel Lidl & Co., a fruit wholesaler, and he developed the company into a general food wholesaler. In 1977, under his son Dieter Schwarz, the Schwarz-Gruppe began to focus on discount markets, larger supermarkets, and cash and carry wholesale markets. The first Lidl discount store was opened in 1973, copying the Aldi concept. Schwarz rigorously removed merchandise that did not sell from the shelves, and cut costs by keeping the size of the retail outlets as small as possible. By the year 1977, the Lidl chain comprised 33 discount stores.

Since launching in the UK in 1994, Lidl has grown consistently and today has more than 580 UK stores. While it is still a small player in the UK with a grocery market share of less than 5%, its importance along with that of continental no-frills competitor Aldi is growing.[citation needed]

Other services[edit]

In late October 2009, Lidl UK launched a DVD rental service Lidl Movies,[4] undercutting Tesco DVD rental, which had previously been the UK's cheapest online DVD rental service.

The service was powered by OutNow DVD rental.[5] OutNow went into liquidation in October 2011, taking Lidl Movies with it.[6]

Lidl UK has also launched an online photo service, which prints photos and photo gifts at discounted prices.[7]

In early 2012, Lidl started launching bakeries in their stores across Europe. They consist of a small baking area with a number of ovens, together with an area where bread and pastries, such as croissants, are displayed for sale.

Approach to retailing[edit]

Like fellow German supermarket Aldi, Lidl has a no-frills approach of displaying most of its products in their original delivery cartons, allowing the customers to take the product directly from the carton. When the carton is empty, it is simply replaced with a full one. Staffing is minimal, so that a profit can still be made even though the prices are low. Together with Aldi, Lidl has carved out its own niche with this approach. In contrast to Aldi, there are generally more branded products on offer and while Lidl imports many low-priced gourmet foods from Europe, it also sources many local products from the country where the store is located. Like Aldi, Lidl has special weekly offers, and its stock of non-food items often changes with time. Lidl operates in most European countries e.g. much of Eastern Europe, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. In contrast to Aldi, Lidl advertises extensively in its homeland of Germany.

Criticism[edit]

Trade unions in Germany and other countries have repeatedly criticised Lidl for mistreatment of workers, breach of European directives on working time and other abuses. These have been published in the Black Book on the Schwarz Retail Company published in Germany and are now also available in English.[8] While The Times notes that Lidl managers work excessive hours, being obliged to sign out of the Working Time Directive when starting with the company, both The Guardian[9] and The Times[10] in the UK amongst other allegations have reported that Lidl spies on its workforce with cameras, makes extensive notes on employee behaviour, particularly focusing on attempting to sack female workers who might become pregnant and also forces staff at warehouses to do "piece-rate" work. Lidl management has denied the charges. In Italy, in 2003, a judge in Savona sentenced Lidl for anti-union policies, a crime in that country.[11] Lidl has been criticised in the United Kingdom and Ireland for not allowing workers to join unions.

In March 2008, the German news magazine Stern released a cover story reporting systematic surveillance of Lidl workers, including the most intimate details of their private affairs.[12][13][14]

In November 2014, Staff at Lidl supermarkets are being stopped from speaking any language other than English in their UK stores - including Welsh. The Welsh Language Society (Cymdeithas yr Iaith) said the policy was "appalling". Its chairman, Jamie Bevan, added that "since the Welsh language bill was passed four years ago, it is illegal to stop staff from speaking to customers in Welsh".[15]

Operations[edit]

There are Lidl stores in each member state of the European Union excluding the Baltic states, and also in Switzerland.

Current[edit]

Country Number of stores
 Austria 198[16]
 Belgium ~300
 Bulgaria 64[17]
 Croatia 84[18]
 Czech Republic 220
 Cyprus 14
 Denmark 94
 Finland 141
 France 1,500
 Germany 3,300
 Greece 207
 Hungary 156
 Ireland 160
 Italy 550
 Luxembourg 6
 Malta 7
 Netherlands 379
 Poland 525[19]
 Portugal 210
 Romania 181
 Slovakia 130
 Slovenia 46[20]
 Spain 527 [21]
 Sweden 160+
 Switzerland 6
 United Kingdom 590 [22]

Former[edit]

Country Number of stores
 Norway 50 stores sold to Reitangruppen in 2008.[23] Now REMA 1000 stores

Planned[edit]

Country Opening Notes
 Lithuania[24] 2014–2015 The first store in Lithuania is expected to open in 2014 in Vilnius[25] and second in Jonava. Stores in every major city of Lithuania are said to follow.[26]
 Serbia[27] 2014–2015 The first store will open in Zrenjanin, and the second in Subotica,[28] followed by Kruševac[29] another will open in Novi Sad in 2014–2015[30]
 United States 2018 Planned 100 new supermarkets in United States.[31]
 Australia 2015 Currently sourcing locations and planning head office to be set up in the Melbourne metropolitan region, as yet store numbers are unknown but Lidl is expected to mirror Aldi's rollout throughout the eastern states.[32]
 Russia 2020 Planned 20 new supermarkets in Russia.
 Morocco Lidl plans to gain entry to Morocco.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lidl gears up to enter the US in 2015". Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Impressum." Lidl. Retrieved 28 September 2012. "Adresse: Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG Stiftsbergstraße 1 74167 Neckarsulm "
  3. ^ "User account | Supermarket News". Subscribers.supermarketnews.com. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Latest News – Which? News". Which.co.uk. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.empiremovieclub.co.uk/
  7. ^ "Our Offers". Lidl Photos. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Black Book on Lidl in English" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (14 March 2007). "Cheap But Not So Cheerful". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Boyes, R. (27 March 2008). "Lidl the Big Brother Supermarket Is Watching You". The Times.
  11. ^ "Il tribunale di Savona condanna Lidl Italia per comportamento antisindacale" (in Italian). Il Magazine. 9 July 2003. 
  12. ^ stern.de[dead link]
  13. ^ "stern.de". stern.de. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "'English only' rule at Lidl shops sparks Welsh row". BBC News. 7 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Lidl Austria Company Profile". Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  17. ^ "LIDL Заслужава си! Нашите магазини". Lidl.bg. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Lidl Opens 84th Store in Croatia". Jatrgovac.com. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "LIDL sklepy spożywcze – gazetka, promocje, przepisy, praca". Lidl.pl. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Lidlove ljubljanske trgovine del UNICEF-ove mreže Varnih točk". Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Lebensmittelzeitung, Lebensmittelhandel Spanien 2014
  22. ^ Lidl.co.uk
  23. ^ "Why did Lidl fail in Norway?". Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Rasa Lukaitytė. ""Lidl" patvirtina planuojantis atidaryti parduotuves Lietuvoje – DELFI Verslas". Verslas.delfi.lt. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  25. ^ ""Lidl" Vilniuje pradeda bandomosios parduotuvės statybas – DELFI Verslas". Verslas.delfi.lt. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  26. ^ ""Lidl" vadovybę Lietuvoje ugdys pats – DELFI Verslas". Verslas.delfi.lt. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "Biz – Vesti – Lidl stiže u 20 gradova Srbije?". B92. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "I "Lidl" u Subotici – Суботица – Szabadka – Subotica". Subotica.rs. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "SEEbiz.eu / Lidl stiže u Kruševac". Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Lidl u Novom Sadu sledeće godine". 021.rs. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  31. ^ Thomasson, Emma (28 April 2014). "Lidl postpones plan to open U.S. stores to 2018". Reuters. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  32. ^ Thomasson, Emma. "Lidl focus on Australian market". 

External links[edit]