Lidl

A Lidl in Cornwall, UK

Lidl (either leed-ul as pronounced in recently-launched British TV commercials, or lid-ul) is a European discount supermarket chain of German origin that operates 5,000 stores. In Germany it is the most important competitor of Aldi. The full name of the company is Lidl Stiftung & Co KG. It belongs to the holding group Schwarz, which also owns the store chains Handelshof and Kaufland.

It was founded in the 1930s by a member of the Schwarz family, then called Schwarz Lebensmittel-Sortimentsgroßhandlung. In the 1970s the first Lidl stores of today's incarnation opened.

Lidl is the fifth largest supermarket chain in Germany (2004), and has established itself in over 17 countries around the world.

Criticism of Lidl

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Lidl has received critical attention in Germany over their treatment of workers, with trade unionists said to be blacklisted (refusal to employ union members). Lidl faces allegations about unpaid overtime, low wages and management by threats. The German trade union Ver.di has taken Lidl to task for its supposed bad labour practices.

Lidl is also said to use aggressive strategies against their suppliers to enforce low prices.

Countries with Lidl shops

Current

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway (the first ten stores opened September 23, 2004)
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Planned

  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland

Competitors

  • Aldi (7000 stores)
  • Netto (1200 stores)
  • Kwiksave (UK only)

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