Our History

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Every success story has a beginning - Today, Lidl operates worldwide as an international company with independent national subsidiaries and serves several million customers every day. 

Lidl's beginning goes back to the 1930s, when Josef Schwarz joined Lidl & Co., a tropical fruit wholesaler in Heilbronn, Germany. Years later, in the 1970s, the success story as a discount chain began: Dieter Schwarz restructured the assortment wholesaler for groceries that his father had operated into a discount grocer and opened the first Lidl stores in the area of Ludwigshafen, Germany in 1973.

Lidl then took off internationally at the end of the 1980s, opening its first Lidl stores in France. Shortly after, market entries in other European countries followed. Today, Lidl operates the largest network of discount grocery stores in Europe. In 2017, the first stores opened in the USA.

Our History

Building Lidl & Schwarz KG


Founding of the Lidl & Schwarz KG.

Lidl store from outside


Opening of the first Lidl discount stores in Germany.

Bild einer alten Lidl Filiale


Start of expansion in Europe - first stores in France.



10,000 Lidl stores across Europe.

Lidl-Store USA


Expansion into the USA.

Lidl Geschichte 2009


Lidl celebrates 12,000 stores in over 30 countries worldwide and over 360,000 employees. In the same year, Lidl expands to Estonia and Tailwind Shipping Lines, the subsidiary of Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, is founded.