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Estonia: Lidl launches before Aldi in Estonia

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Discount Retail Chain Lidl Estonia (owned by the German Schwarz Group) has opened its first discount stores in Estonia. The German discount chain is now active in all Baltic states, although this entry was not without a struggle.

Baltic start complete

In one day, Lidl opened the doors of no fewer than eight stores in Estonia. The supermarkets opened in the capital Tallinn and three other Estonian cities, German newspaper Zeit reported. Estonia is the 31st country where Lidl entered the market.

Lidl is now present in all three Baltic States, after launching in Lithuania in 2016 and Latvia in October 2020. The Estonian expansion has been in the making for years: owner Schwarz Group spent 80 million euros (US$96 million) on the launch, which would create over a thousand new jobs in the country of 1.2 million inhabitants.

Countries without Aldi

For Lidl, the Baltic States are an interesting market, because rival Aldi is not yet present there. In Latvia and Lithuania, the arrival of the chain is said to have had a big impact and put the traditional supermarket players under pressure.

However, a previous attempt some fifteen years ago failed miserably: Lidl had already bought properties here and there, hired employees and had concrete plans on the table, but suddenly pulled the plug in 2006. All properties were sold again and the employees were fired.


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