Schwarz Group – Company History

The Schwarz Group is a German retail group that owns and operates the Lidl and Kaufland brands, originally founded in 1930 and with headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany.

The Schwarz family’s business dealings began as far back as 1912, when their company was commissioned to be the official freight transportation for the Royal Württemberg State Railway at Göppingen station. The modern roots to their businesses today extend to 1930, when Josef Schwarz became a partner in a tropical fruit wholesaler called Suedfruechte Grosshandel Lidl & Co. The first Lidl store was opened in 1973, and Dieter Schwarz inherited the company from his father in 1977. As CEO, Dieter Schwarz expanded the business both in retail and logistics.

The Schwarz Group has grown to become one of the leading food retail companies in Germany. Lidl is the second-biggest discount chain in the country behind competitor Aldi. The company intends to continue its expansion into other countries, especially Britain. 350 new stores are planned for 2018, in addition to an increased product range of 2,500 from 1,800 products currently. At present, the company operates over 10,000 locations in 26 countries.

  • Family name: Schwarz
  • Sector: Consumer Products & Retail
  • Founded: 1930
  • Founder: Josef Schwarz
  • Country: Germany
  • Company headquarters: Neckarsulm, Germany
  • Managers: Klaus Gehrig
  • Revenue: US$93.1 billion
  • Rankings: 
  • Family ownership: 100%
  • Employees: 360,000
  • Website:


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