Schwarz Gruppe

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Schwarz Group
Native name
Founded1930; 93 years ago (1930)
FounderJosef Schwarz
HeadquartersNeckarsulm, Germany
Area served
Europe and U.S.
Key people
Dieter Schwarz (owner)
Revenue€ 154.1 billion (FY 2022/23)
Number of employees
575,000 (FY 2022)
Shareholdings within the Schwarz Group

The Schwarz Group is a German multinational retailer that operates stores under the Lidl and Kaufland brands. It is the largest European retailer[1] and the fourth-largest retailer in the world by revenue.[2] The Schwarz Group's stores sell mostly private label brands, and the family-owned group also operates its own production facilities for baked goods, soft drinks and ice cream.


The business was founded in 1930 by Josef Schwarz (1903–1977), father of Dieter Schwarz.[3] It is headquartered in Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The Schwarz Group is an international trading company with 500,000 employees and operates over 12,900 stores (in 2021) across 33 countries. It is made up of the two retail divisions, Lidl and Kaufland.

In addition to the retail business, the Schwarz Group also owns brands in the beverage, baked goods, sweets and ice cream sectors. The Schwarz Group has been involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of recyclable materials for many years.[4] With the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, the company supports education, primarily in Dieter Schwarz's hometown of Heilbronn.[5]

The company had a €125.3 billion turnover in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.[6]

Operating structure[edit]

The operational business of Schwarz Group is spread over four groups of companies, which are not linked to each other under company law, but are sister companies:[7]

This structure often referred to as a conglomerate, is not a corporation under commercial law. As such, no consolidated balance sheet is produced. It has an intricate and complex investment structure. A conglomerate, as used colloquially, requires main companies which operate in a diverse range of sectors and are not in competition with each other. This is not the case of the Schwarz Group's main companies, Lidl and Kaufland, which are rival food retailers.


Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG (Lidl stores in Europe and the US) and LD-Stiftung (Lidl stores in Germany) are two food retail companies which together operate around 12,000 Lidl retail outlets worldwide. Regional warehouse operations and the sizeable real estate business are managed by regional and national branches of the companies respectively. Tailwind Shipping Lines, a container shipping provider, is a subsidiary of the business.


Kaufland Stiftung & Co. KG is a food retailer with operating approximately 1,450 branches. The regional warehouses and real estate business fall under the regional and national companies while the five meat processing plants are operated as separate subsidiaries.


Schwarz Produktion Stiftung & Co. KG is a food production company specialising in the manufacture of own-brand goods for the supermarket chains Lidl and Kaufland. They also produce a limited quantity of goods for third parties. Their operations include the reuse, recycling and production of new plastic bottles for the purpose of beverage filling.


Prezero Stiftung (Foundation) & Co. KG is an international waste disposal company that operates through 430 locations across Europe and the United States. The business mainly services organisations owned by the Schwarz Group, though they also take on contracts from third-party clients.


  1. ^ "Retail Index". Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  2. ^ "10 biggest retailers in the world". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  3. ^ "#38 Dieter Schwarz". Forbes. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  4. ^ "Lidl-Mutterkonzern steigt in das Geschäft ein mit dem Müll". Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  5. ^ "Dieter Schwarz Stiftung". Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  6. ^ magazin, manager (July 15, 2021). "Schwarz-Gruppe: Lidl und Kaufland steigern Umsatz auf 122 Mrd. Euro im Gesamtjahr".
  7. ^ (2021-05-24). "Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG – Extract from Commercial Register" (in German). Stuttgart Local Court HRA 102314 – Current Print. Archived from the original on 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2021-05-24.