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Netherlands-based SPAR International reported sales rose 5.4% globally to €35.8bn. The organisation said entry into four new markets, the addition of 335 new stores and the continued focus on its ‘Better Together’ strategy had underpinned the pace of its growth.

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Schwarz Group released its financial year 2018/19 results, reporting a strong sales increase of 7.4% to €104.3bn. The growth was driven by Lidl and the group’s international operations. Lidl’s turnover increased by 8.8% to €81.2bn while Kaufland’s sales grew by 1.6% to €22.6bn. Tönsmeier Group, the waste disposal company acquired in 2018, generated sales of €500m.

According to Schwarz Group’s CEO, Klaus Gehrig, sales were driven by ‘new stores’ openings and attractive prices’. The group now operates more than 12,100 stores across 30 countries, thanks to 400 stores opening in 2018, of which, most were under the Lidl banner.  

Lidl’s good performance in Germany

Lidl’s sales increased by 5.9% to €22.7bn in its home market. Despite a more competitive environment, especially in terms of consumer’s prices, Lidl’s posted a stronger growth than the previous financial year (+5.2% in 2017/18). The discounter’s investment in remodelling its existing stores, in private labels and the fast expansion of online sales contributed to these overall good results in Germany.

Kaufland’s growth slows

Kaufland posted a growth of only 1.6% in FY2018/19, -1.4pts compare to the 2017/18 growth. The retailer has been affected by a challenging environment for hypermarkets in the markets where it operates. But the group is currently investing in its stores to improve the shopping experience and in its categories to offer more solutions.

Lidl’s international operations driving the group’s growth

Outside of Germany, Schwarz Group sales increased by 9.1% to €67.3bn. In October 2018, the group entered Serbia where it opened 23 Lidl stores. In the US, Lidl acquired 27 Best Market in November 2018 as it looks to build its presence in the market. Lidl sales remained strong in Spain (+11.5% to €4bn), while in Italy it opened its highest number of stores for many years, adding more than 40.

2019: investments to continue and focus on digital

In 2018, Schwarz Group invested €7.5bn, mainly in store upgrades and openings. The group anticipates a similar level of investment for 2019, with strong development plans for Lidl across Europe.

Digital is becoming a focus for the group. Lidl now offers online food or non-grocery in a growing number of countries. In 2018 its online sales grew by 56% globally. Lidl also continues the roll out of its loyalty app, Lidl Plus.

Keep up-to-date with the latest developments of international retailers, sign up for our newsletter. For subscribers wanting to know more about Schwarz Group, please have a look at our Lidl and Kaufland Strategic Outlook for 2019.

If you need some support when building your strategy for discounters and more broadly for international retailers, please get in touch with Milos Ryba, Head of Retail Strategic projects, [email protected].

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Maxime Delacour

Senior Retail Analyst - Discount

If you have a specific business challenge or training requirement we can put together something just for you.

As Lidl continues its rapid expansion across Europe and the US, it is looking to build stronger relationship with its shoppers. As Lidl invests in its stores and expands the ranges and services it offers, identify your opportunities with the retailer as we explore the latest strategic priorities that will influence its future performance.

Denmark based Salling Group has announced the sale of the 163 Netto stores it operates in Sweden to Coop Sverige. For the Danish retailer it’s a strategic decision to focus investments in other markets, while Coop will strengthen its position as the second largest retailer in Sweden.

The agreement will need to be approved by the Swedish competition authorities, but it is unlikely that it will face many issues.

Salling Group to focus on other markets

The sale of the Swedish business enables Salling Group to step up its investments to roll out the Netto 3.0 concept in Denmark, Germany and Poland. Subscribers can see in-store of the new concept in our store visit.

“We are very pleased with the agreement, which means that we can increase investments in fewer markets and further focus our company on the benefit of customers in Denmark, Poland and Germany” Per Bank, CEO of Salling Group

Salling Group plans to invest more than DKK1bn (€135m) in its Netto stores across its three remaining markets in 2019.

Coop to strengthen its presence in south of Sweden

The deal will lead to the Netto stores being integrated under the Coop supermarkets banner after a transition period. It’s a strategic development for Coop Sverige, which will strengthen its presence in the south of the country.

Currently, most of Coop Sverige’s 650 stores are franchised. The addition of the 163 Netto stores will be an important move for the retailer as it will be in the new position of owning nearly half of the group’s 793 stores.

Want to keep up with the latest developments of international retailers? Sign up for our free Retail Analysis international newsletter.

Lidl Spain has announced its partnership with the online food supermarket, Lola Market. The online supermarket will offer the entire Lidl assortment, including fresh food.

Spain becomes the third country where the discounter offers such service, after Italy in January 2019 and Ireland in September 2018 with other third-party companies.

Partnership with Lola Market

Lola Market currently delivers food for most major supermarkets including Mercadona, Carrefour, Dia and El Corte Ingles. For Lidl, it’s an opportunity to develop its knowledge about ecommerce in Spain with Carlos González-Vilardell, Communications and Digital Director, saying this collaboration will enable us to learn more about online food and better understand our shoppers’ needs.

Source: Lidl

Same day delivery with Lidl price guarantee

All 2,000 products available in stores can be purchased online on Lola Market. Unlike its competitors, Lidl guarantees the same price as in its stores. The delivery cost is fixed at €4.90 with no minimum purchase. Lola Market guarantees deliveries in one hour or at a time chosen by shoppers. To incentivise shoppers, Lidl offers a €10 discount on their first order.

Initially, the service is only available in Madrid’s city centre but Lidl plans to expand it to the rest of the capital in the near future. Lidl’s objective is to roll out the service in all other major cities where Lola Market operates

Lidl’s fast growth in Spain

With this new partnership, Lidl Spain has a complete offer available online, after the launch of its non-grocery online shop last year. It shows the quick developments of the discounter in the country and its capacity to offer more services to its shoppers. In 2018, Lidl Spain’s turnover increased by 11.5% to €4bn. Lidl currently operates 580 stores in the country and plans to open 30 new in 2019 as part of its €300m investment plan.

Keep up-to-date with the latest discount channel developments. Sign up for our channel specific newsletter. For subscribers wanting to know more about Lidl, please have a look at our Strategic Outlook for 2019.

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