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.
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Historical profile information for Lidl
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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Sep 2017: Ads of the Week "Lidl Land". German discounters Lidl and Aldi have a reputation for stirring up the established order, but now they seem to be taking things to a new level. This lavishly conceived viral for Lidl Germany from local creative boutique Le Geek directly targets market-leading supermarket Edeka, not least by making fun of a couple of its most highly regarded recent ads ("Eatkarus" and "Grandpa"). And all in a note-perfect parody of *that* movie. Sadly we couldn't lay our hands on a subtitled version, but even non-German speakers will get the general idea. Clever fun!
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2017: The rise and rise of the German discounters continues. Latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel for UK grocery retail share show Lidl overtaking Waitrose for the first time to become the local #7 food retailer. Lidl's market share for the 12 weeks to August 13th hit a new high of 5.2%, fractionally ahead of Waitrose at 5.1%. Aldi retained the #5 spot on 7.0%, behind Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons. [Update: Lidl slipped back behind Waitrose again in October].
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Jun 2017: German discounter Lidl is pushing into "high-end but affordable" fashion with the launch of an exclusive clothing range designed by supermodel turned TV presenter Heidi Klum. The new line will be positioned above Lidl's existing lingerie brand Esmara, and will become the focus of a new Lidl Fashion Week promotion. The collection will launch in Germany, the UK and other selected markets, including the US, where the chain's first stores open next week. Klum has a high profile in several countries as a result of her TV career as presenter of Germany's Next Top Model as well as America's Got Talent and Project Runway USA.
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