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Germany: discount retail chain owners at the very front of richest people in Germany

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

These are the two richest Germans both owners of discount retail chains:

1. Beate Heister (69) & Karl Albrecht Jr. (74) - discounter Aldi Süd

Beate Heister, born Albrecht, and Karl Albrecht Jr. have the largest fortune in Germany. According to "Forbes" they are worth 32.3 billion euros (US$ 39 billion). The siblings owe their wealth to their father, Karl Hans Albrecht. Together with his brother Theo Albrecht sen. 1945 the parents' grocery store, which was to become the Aldi Group in the coming decades. In 1961 the brothers parted ways, Theo took over Aldi Nord and Karl took care of Aldi Süd. Karl Albrecht died in 2014 at the age of 94.

Both Heister and Albrecht Jr. are little known to the public. You look for interviews or TV appearances in vain. Because the siblings had to learn early on that fame and fortune can also be dangerous: their uncle Theo Albrecht Sr. was kidnapped in 1971 and only released against payment of a ransom.

The siblings have since withdrawn from the company, Albrecht was already suffering from three cancer cases in 2004. Heister is still active as a board member of the Siepmann Foundation. Her son Peter Max Heister heads the foundation. The family foundation is one hundred percent owner of Aldi Süd and was founded by father Karl Hans Albrecht in 1973. Siepmann was his mother's maiden name, Anna Albrecht.

2. Dieter Schwarz (81) - discounter Lidl & supermarket Kaufland

Dieter Schwarz is not only the second richest person, but also the richest company founder in Germany. In contrast to the USA and China, only a few super-rich in Germany have earned their wealth themselves, mostly from inheritance. He owns the Schwarz Group, to which Lidl and Kaufland belong. His fortune increased the most in the last year, it has almost doubled from 16.3 billion (US$20 billion) to 30.5 billion euros (US$37 billion).

Schwarz also lives very withdrawn. Allegedly, he retired in the late 1990s. With his wife Franziska Schwarz (born Weipert) he has two grown daughters who do not work for the company.


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