German retail chain Lidl has brought welcome dose of competition to the Finnish daily consumer goods market after establishing its first stores in Finland in August 2002, according to an editorial in the Finnish newspaper Aamulehti. After initially attracting mixed publicity, Lidl successfully adapted its stores to the expectations of Finnish consumers and has now firmly established itself in the market.
“The way that Lidl has made itself ‘Finnish’ and made shopping at Lidl socially acceptable has been followed with respect by its competitors. Its publicity campaign has even made use of self-irony,” writes Aamulehti. Increased competition has been good for consumers as well as the development of the traditional Finnish retail chains and Lidl itself, according to Aamulehti.
Today Lidl has 143 stores in Finland and over 4000 employees. With a market share of 8.3%, Lidl is now the third largest retail chain in Finland. According to Lauri Sipponen, managing director of Lidl in Finland, the company invested about EUR 100 million in modernizing, expanding and developing its network of stores in Finland during 2014.
Lidl has also won the respect of the Finnish trade unions. “It seems that Lidl is really becoming an exemplary employer,” said Juha Ojala, from the Service Union United PAM of Finland in a recent interview with Helsingin Sanomat.
Sources: Aamulehti, Lidl