Lidl claims to be Europe's largest chain of discount superstores, now with more than 10,500 outlets across 30 countries, under the banner "Quality For Less". The group has a presence in virtually every country across the European Union; in most it sits behind arch-rival Aldi by sales. The main exception is France, where it is roughly twice Aldi's size. However, unlike its rival, it has only a minimal presence elsewhere. It took its first major steps outside Europe in 2017 with a launch into the US; and also opened an online-only store in China. Although it specializes in groceries, Lidl also offers a select range of other goods including clothing and home electrical products, sometimes as limited period promotional specials. Most goods are private label, and Lidl stocks a wider range of products than Aldi, as well as a slightly less stripped-down store environment. The main Lidl band is partnered by hypermarket brand Kaufland, now the leader in that segment in Germany. Both businesses are privately owned via a charitable foundation by Dieter Schwarz, the son of Lidl's founder, now Germany's richest individual. With combined revenues from these two businesses growing steadily, parent Schwarz Gruppe overtook Metro, Carrefour and Tesco to become Europe's biggest retailer in 2015. Sales for 2017 were €97bn. Klaus Gehring is CEO of Schwarz-Gruppe; Jesper Hojer is CEO of Lidl. The group was founded in the 1930s when Josef Schwarz became a partner in fruit wholesaler Lidl & Co. As Lidl & Schwarz, it expanded into retailing for the first time in the 1950s. Dieter Schwarz became chairman in 1977 and began expanding the business aggressively into other countries.
Capsule checked 8th September 2018
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Historical profile information for Lidl
Adbrands Social Media 5th Dec 2018: "The Cell". Not many ads from Finland cross our desk. That's clearly our loss judging by this very fine Christmas spot for Lidl from Helsinki agency Folk, which has the elegance and human warmth of the best in its class. As the Yuletide deluge slows to a trickle, it's a welcome reminder that even in the frenzied commercial mayhem of Christmas, top-notch creativity still shines through. Interesting also to note that discounters Lidl and Aldi have demonstrated in their seasonal advertising in so many of their global markets a lighter touch and greater sophistication than almost all of their established supermarket rivals.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Nov 2018: Lidl ramped up its invasion of the US grocery sector with a deal to acquire 27 Best Market supermarkets in Long Island, New York and New Jersey. The collection includes what would become Lidl's first store in Manhattan, in Harlem. Since its arrival in the US earlier this year, the German group has so far opened 59 stores in the South and Mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Maryland. That's still far behind traditional rival Aldi which already has 1,800 stores in the US, and responded to Lidl's launch with plans to expand to 2,200 locations by 2022.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Kids Gone". This is definitely not the usual Christmas ad. German retailers can often be relied upon to do something out of the ordinary at Christmas. After all, their Yuletide traditions have a rather darker edge to them that we're used to in English-speaking markets. The spirit of St Nick truly presides over this extraordinary film for Lidl Germany from creative collective Uberground. It's a salutary reminder that Christmas is supposed to be the "festival of love", not a time for family arguments. You never know what you might lose otherwise.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Dec 2017: Arnd Pickhardt, chief marketing officer for German discount supermarket Lidl, has left the company abruptly after two years in his role, apparently as a result of "differing views on the alignment of the Lidl brand", according to German trade media. His duties are being transferred to Juergen Aachenbach, already head of international marketing.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: There were indications that Lidl's launch into the US has not gone as well as expected. Former Lidl Spain CEO Michael Aranda replaced launch leader Daniel Marasch as executive director for the US following what German trade paper Lebensmittel Zeitung described as "frighteningly weak" performance at some of the company's 37 new US stores. Lidl opened its first stores in the country in June this year. Lidl confirmed Aranda's appointment but denied any problems, saying officially that it was "delighted" with performance to-date. "We feel very confident with where we are as a company and we're proud of our launch to date," a spokesman told US trade source Supermarket News.
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