Lidl is a German chain of discount supermarkets that has worldwide operations, including in the UK. The company has more than 9,000 stores in different parts of Europe and has its head offices in Livingston for its UK operations.
Lidl was created in the 1930s and was originally a wholesale grocery business. The business was started in Germany by the Schwarz family. The first store put up by the family was called “Schwarz Assorted Wholesale Foods.” The name Lidl was the surname of the Schwarz’ former partner in business, Ludwig Lidl and Schwarz bought the rights to the store’s name.
The first stores that were already named Lidl were opened in 1973. The stores had a similar concept with those of Aldi stores. By 1977, there were 33 discount stores in the country. All of these retail stores were kept as small as possible and products that did not sell were removed from the shelves. This system worked fine with its customers, which is why the number of Lidl stores grew.
By the 1980s, the stores had become a popular household name throughout Germany. By the 1990s, Lidl started its expansion plan by opening stores outside of the country. By 1994, Lidl retail stores were operating in the UK.
Currently, Lidl has over 580 stores throughout the United Kingdom and has become the closest competitor of Aldi in the area of discount retailing. Although Lidl in the UK is still considered a minor player in the retail industry (with a market share of more or less 5%), the discount chain is still thought of as one of the important retailers in UK.
Just like Aldi, a majority of the products sold in Lidl stores are private labels, which is why it offers really low prices for its products. Among the brands that Lidl owns are Silvercrest and FAIRGLOBE. The Silvercrest label is for electronic products, while the FAIRGLOBE label is for fair trade food products, which Lidl supports. Even with already having thousands of stores around Europe, Lidl continues to expand, as it still has plans to put up stores in countries like Canada and Mexico.
Ownership Type: Private
Employees: about 690
Geography: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland
Demography: quantity consumers, quality consumers