Lidl was first founded in Germany as a grocery wholesaler back in the 1930s by a member of the Schwarz family. Lidl’s full name is Lidl Stiftung ; Co.KG. The first Lidl stores were opened in 1973. By 1977 there were 33 Lidl stores in Germany. By the 1980s Lidl was a household name throughout Germany. During the 1990s Lidl started to open stores around the rest of Europe and today Lidl stores can be found in nearly every country in Europe. Lidl opened its first UK store in 1994 and grew rapidly during the first decade of the 21st century. Since then, Lidl has grown consistently, and today has over 650 stores. Lidl is now well known as a main European food retailer. Today, Lidl, as part of the Schwarz Group, is one of the largest grocery retailers in Europe? it has over 3100 stores in Germany and more stores around the rest of Europe. It is Aldi’s main competitor in Germany. Since 1994, when Lidl first came to the UK, there has been a fast rise in the amount of stores and is now more than 400 stores, and there are still plenty more to come. Lidl is planning to take their stores outside of Europe and possibly build stores in locations such as Canada, Australia and Mexico.
A typical Lidl store has an average sales area of around 1,000 square meters (about 10,800 square feet), whereas Aldi stores have an average area of 600 to 800 square meters (about 6,500 to 8,600 square feet). However, both discounters have started to open larger stores. Some new Lidl stores have sales areas of up to 1,400 square meters (just more than 15,000 square feet), while new Aldi stores have up to 1,100 square meters (slightly more than 11,800 square feet).
Lidl’s product range is wider, around 1,800 items, including private label products as well as branded products.
Lidl is investing strongly into advertising in newspapers and on TV and billboards. In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Croatia, Lidl spent the same amount of money on advertising as the market leaders (Ahold in the Netherlands and Konzum in Croatia).
LIDL has their own distribution centers and keep strong control over the production cost of their private label products. In order to quickly react to changes in the prices of raw materials, Lidl operates its own chocolate and bakery factory in Germany.
Lidl saw strong revenue growth of 10 percent in Poland in 2014, whereas Aldi’s growth in Poland was much slower.