Schwarz Gruppe

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Schwarz Group
Private
Industry Retail
Headquarters Neckarsulm
Area served
Europe
Key people
Klaus Gehrig (CEO)
Brands Lidl and Kaufland
Revenue €85.7 billion (2015/2016)[1][2]

Schwarz Gruppe GmbH is a private family-owned German retail group that owns and operates the Lidl and Kaufland brands. It is the second-largest retailer in the world, behind WalMart, for revenue.

Headquartered in Neckarsulm,[3] Schwarz Gruppe achieved a turnover of nearly 80 billion euro in the fiscal year 2014/2015.[4] The Schwarz Gruppe is owned by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation GmbH (99.9% of the shares) and the Schwarz Gruppe Industrietreuhand KG (0.1% of the shares); the latter holds 100% of the voting rights.[5]

The Schwarz Gruppe operated over 10,000 branches in 2015 (around 9900 Lidl branches, of which 3200 in Germany, and around 1190 Kaufland branches, of which 640 in Germany), operating across 26 countries. Lidl intends to expand its business to Australia, Lithuania in 2016, Serbia and the US in 2017, Russia in 2020. Online sales are operated via Schwarz Gruppe E-Commerce, a sister company of Lidl.[6] In the ranking the 500 largest family-owned German businesses, WirtschaftsBlatt ranks the Schwarz Gruppe first. The top 3 privately held European companies in the PrivCo 25 Europe were: Schwarz Group, Trafigura and INEOS Group with cumulative revenue of over €200 Billion. German Schwarz, which owns chains Lidl and Kaufland, has surpassed French Carrefour as Europe's largest supermarket company. Schwarz Gruppe's turnover grew 7% in its past fiscal year, up to 79.3 billion euro.

The turnover increase has now helped create a 4 billion euro gap with the former leader, French Carrefour. Lidl's turnover went up 9 % to 59 billion euro, while Kaufland managed a 2.8% turnover increase, reaching nearly 20 billion euro.

An extensive international expansion was the big catalyst for this turnover increase and the company is determined to remain on the same track: "We have the financial muscle to keep the company's expansion going", the company told German business paper LebensMittelZeitung. In the past year alone, it invested five billion euro in its store and logistic real estate. Lidl and Kaufland combined now employ 350,000 people.[7]

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