Schwarz Group, which owns Lidl, will overtake Carrefour, Tesco and Aldi to become Europe’s biggest grocery retailer by the end of this year, several analysts have predicted. Its current sales are around £51bn.
It is taking on Tesco’s upmarket Euphorium and Morrisons Market street bakery and will roll out in-store bakeries across its 620 UK store estate this year. The UK bakery market, which reached £11bn in value in 2012, mainly consists of small companies which contribute to 91 per cent of all enterprises, but only generate 8 per cent of total turnover at present.
The company was a grocery wholesaler in Germany for 43 years, before opening its first German store in 1973. Its first store opened in the UK in 1994.
It was the first supermarket to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts after a 2013 trial proved successful. Academics have argued that sugar is as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco - influencing Lidl in their decision to shelve sugar from checkouts. Pointing towards its own research, it said 70 per cent of shoppers would pick a sweet-free checkout over a traditional one.
The UK is Lidl’s third biggest market (620 stores) with France (1,500) and Germany (3,300) its largest, respectively. It plans to enter the US market in 2018 with 100 stores and is planning a store roll out in Serbia and Lithuania later this year and Australia next year.
Five things you probably didn’t know about Lidl
Thursday 31 July 2014 - Editorial Assistant
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