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Company nameLidl Stiftung & Co. KG
Company typeGerman multi-national
SloganWhere quality is cheaper
IndustryRetail (Grocery)
HeadquartersNeckarsulm, Germany
Key peopleKlaus Gehrig:
Karl-Heinz Holland: CEO
ProductsMainly own brand, with a few larger and regional brands
Revenue- 42 billion (2010)

     Home | Company | Lidl

Lidl (generally in English-speaking countries and in its country of origin) is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany that operates over 9,000 stores across Europe. The company's full name is Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG. It belongs to the holding company Schwarz Gruppe, which also owns the store chains Handelshof and hypermarket Kaufland.

Founded in the 1930s by a member of the Schwarz family [and called at the time Schwarz Lebensmittel-Sortimentsgroßhandlung (Schwarz Assorted wholesale Foods)], Lidl has since the opening in 1973 of the first of its stores in their present incarnation now established itself in over 20 countries in Europe. The name Lidl was the surname of a former business partner of Schwarz's, Ludwig Lidl, a retired schoolteacher, and Schwarz bought the rights to the name from him for 1,000 marks, as he could not use the name Schwarz Markt as it means 'black market' and would have negative associations. Lidl is part of the Schwarz Group, the 4th largest retailer in the world with sales of $82.4 billion (2011).

In 1930, Josef Schwarz became a partner in Südfrüchte Großhandel Lidl & Co., a fruit wholesaler, and he developed the company into a general food wholesaler. In 1977, under his son Dieter Schwarz, the Schwarz-Gruppe began to focus on discount markets, larger supermarkets, and cash and carry wholesale markets. The first Lidl discount store was opened in 1973, copying the Aldi concept. Schwarz rigorously removed merchandise that did not sell from the shelves, and cut costs by keeping the size of the retail outlets as small as possible. By the year 1977, the Lidl chain comprised 33 discount stores.

Since establishing in the UK in 1994, Lidl has grown consistently and today has more than 580 stores throughout the UK. While it is still a small player in the UK market with a grocery market share of less than 5%, its importance along with that of continental no-frills competitor Aldi is growing.

Amongst other brands, Lidl owns the Silvercrest brand, which manufactures electronic products such as satellite and Freeview receivers.

Lidl is the chief competitor of the similar German discount chain Aldi.

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