The German retail chain Lidl is planning to open another 60 stores in Finland as it celebrates its tenth anniversary on the Finnish market. The first ten Lidl stores opened in Finland on 29 August 2002. Today Lidl has 140 stores around the country which attract about 1.5 million customers every week – clear evidence that Lidl has successfully established itself on the market.
With a turnover of more than EUR 900 million, Lidl is now among the 80 largest companies in Finland. Lidl’s market share is about 7% which makes it the fourth largest retail chain in the country. According to Lauri Sipponen, Lidl’s managing director in Finland, the company has been profitable in Finland for many years and the latest financial results show a profit in the tens of millions of euros.
More stores planned
Sipponen says that Lidl is aiming for at least 200 stores in Finland. Lidl is currently opening new stores in the Vuosaari district of Helsinki and in the cities of Kuopio and Tampere, and also planning new stores in Jyväskylä and Oulu. The majority of Lidl’s stores are located on properties owned by the company but it also rents some stores located in shopping centres.
During the past decade, Lidl has invested more half a billion euros in Finland. In response to requests from customers, Lidl has adapted its operation to the Finnish market by introducing shopping baskets and longer checkout tills in its stores, as well as renewing its system for returned recyclable bottles. Lidl has also increased its selection by introducing many Finnish products.
With 3500 employees, Lidl is among the 40 biggest employers in Finland. According to Sipponen, the company encourages and supports the education and training of its staff and works closely with educational establishments and regional employment offices. For example, hundreds of Lidl employees have completed professional qualifications as part of the company’s apprenticeship programme.