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Current Position:Home » News » General News » Topic

Close look at German retailers Aldi and Lidl

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-06-12  Views: 31
Core Tip: With 80 million inhabitants, Germany is the largest consumer market in Europe.
With 80 million inhabitants, Germany is the largest consumer market in Europe. In 2015, sales of food through retail channels amounted to more than 170 billion euro in Germany. In addition, the out-of-home market had a turnover of over 68 billion euro. This makes the German food market a very attractive market for Dutch agricultural entrepreneurs. The Agricultural Attaché Network Berlin wishes to inform people about these market opportunities through a number of articles. This fifth article in this series is about the structure of Aldi and Lidl; The two largest discounter chains.

For discounters, a distinction can be made between hard discounters and soft discounters. Hard discounters, such as Aldi, offer a low number of products (800 to 1,000 per shop on average) and have a high share of own brands. An example of a soft discounter is Netto (part of the Edeka group), which offer an average of 3,500 products, 50 per cent of which are own brands. In 2015, the discount chains combined had a market share of 38 per cent in the German food market.

In 2016, Aldi had a gross turnover of 28.3 billion euro and a market share of 11.9 per cent in Germany. Fifty-five per cent of this turnover was generated by Aldi Nord, and 45 per cent by Aldi Süd. Because of this, Aldi is the market leader among discounters in Germany.

Lidl is the discounter branch of the Schwarz group. In 2016, the Schwarz group had a gross turnover of more than 37.7 billion euro in Germany, of which 60 per cent was generated by Lidl and 40 per cent by Kaufland.

Aldi and Lidl had a higher increase in revenues than regular supermarkets in Germany in 2016. This is remarkable because 2016 was characterised by economic growth, and the market share of discounters usually grows when the economy is worse and consumers have less to spend. Research agency GfK explains that this increase in revenue is due to the changes in the marketing strategies of Aldi and Lidl.

New strategies for Aldi
In recent years, hard discounter Aldi has started focusing more on A brands. Aldi’s product supply consists of 94 per cent own brand products on average. In 2014, this changed, and A brands rapidly started appearing on Aldi’s shelves. According to estimates of the GfK, this strategy led to an increase in sales of 30 per cent in 2015 and 2016, compared to 2014.

With a new branch in Herten in the state North Rhine-Westphalia, Aldi is focusing on a new shop concept with a wider range of fresh baked goods, meat products, fish, fruit and vegetables. More information about this new branch can be read in Aldi’s official press release.

Trends at Lidl’s
With 39 per cent of the product supply, Lidl has a larger share of A brands than Aldi. Compared to Aldi, it’s also possible to order certain products online through the Lidl website. The ordered products are then delivered at home after 2 to 3 working days by DHL.

In late 2016, Lidl had plans to expand the online activities with Lidl Express. However, in February 2017, Lidl announced that research had shown this service would have become too expensive, and the pilot project was cancelled.
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