Schwarz Gruppe

Schwarz Gruppe is a private family-owned German retail group that owns and operates the Lidl and Kaufland brands. It is the fourth-largest retailer in the world by revenue.

Schwarz Group
HeadquartersNeckarsulm, Germany
Area served
Europe and US
Key people
Klaus Gehrig (CEO) Dieter Schwarz (Owner)
Revenue€104,3 billion (2018/2019)
Number of employees


Headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany,[1] Schwarz Gruppe achieved a turnover of €104.3 billion in the fiscal year 2018/2019.[2] The Schwarz Gruppe is owned by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation GmbH (99.9% of the shares) and the Schwarz Gruppe Industrietreuhand KG (0.1% of the shares); the latter holds 100% of the voting rights.[3]

The Schwarz Gruppe operated over 11,800 stores in 2018 (around 10,500 Lidl branches worldwide, of which 3,200 in Germany, and around 1,300 Kaufland branches, of which 660 in Germany), operating across 30 countries. Schwarz Gruppe expanded its business to Australia and Lithuania in 2016, Serbia and the US in 2017, Russia in 2020. Online sales are operated via Schwarz Gruppe E-Commerce, a sister company of Lidl.[4] In the ranking the 500 largest family-owned German businesses, WirtschaftsBlatt ranks the Schwarz Gruppe first. The top 3 privately held European companies in the PrivCo 25 Europe were: Schwarz Group, Trafigura and INEOS Group with cumulative revenue of over €200 billion.

German Schwarz, which owns chains Lidl and Kaufland, has surpassed French Carrefour as Europe's largest supermarket company. Schwarz Gruppe's turnover grew 7% in its past fiscal year, up to €96.9 billion.

The turnover increase has now helped create a 4 billion euro gap with the former leader, French Carrefour. Lidl's turnover went up 9% to €81.2 billion, while Kaufland managed a 1.6% turnover increase, reaching nearly €22.6 billion.

An extensive international expansion was the big catalyst for this turnover increase and the company is determined to remain on the same track: "We have the financial muscle to keep the company's expansion going", the company told German business paper LebensMittelZeitung. In the past year alone, it invested five billion euros in its store and logistic real estate. Lidl and Kaufland combined now employ 430,000 people.[5]

Within a 10-year period prior to 2015, the Schwarz Gruppe received more than €800 million from the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), amid concern over bad working conditions at Lidl and Kaufland.[6]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2014-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. dpa (2014-01-25). "Lidl-Gruppe hat Metro als größten Handelskonzern abgelöst" (in German). Frankfurter Rundschau. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  3. Karsten Langer: Dieter Schwarz: Aldis Erzfeind., 2. März 2004
  4. "lidl-reisen - ...einfach urlaubiger!". Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2013-10-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Lidl recebeu mais de 800 millhões em apoios do Banco Mundial". Jornal de Negócios (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-10-30.

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