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Russia: Discounter Lidl comes to Russia

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

The owner of a large international chain of discounter Lidl has registered a trademark with Rospatent. The company has been looking closely at the Russian market for the past 18 years, but now the niche in which the retailer operates has begun to actively develop.

German company "Lidl Stiftung & Co." issued the rights to use the Lidl trademark in Russia for the retail class. Under this sign she develops a chain of supermarkets-discounters in Europe and the USA. At the moment, their number exceeds 11 thousand. Lidl is part of the Schwarz Group, owned by the German billionaire Dieter Schwarz. In 2020, Forbes ranked the entrepreneur as the 30th richest person in the world.

During the day, Lidl did not respond to an inquiry from Delovoy Petersburg about the company's plans in Russia. However, it is known that the retailer has been eyeing the Russian market for a long time. Thus, in 2003-2009, LLC LIDL Holding RUS, owned by Lidl Stiftung & Co., was registered in St. Petersburg. and another German company belonging to the same group. In 2004, the St. Petersburg authorities said that they were negotiating the arrival of Lidl in the city. At that moment this did not happen, but, apparently, the company did not abandon its plans, the correspondent of "DP" found the presentation of Lidl 2015, dedicated to the upcoming expansion of the network in Russia. In the St. Petersburg section of the HeadHunter website there is a page of the employer "Lidl", it is indicated that the company operates in the retail trade. But not a single vacancy has been opened on her behalf.

Petersburgers are familiar with Lidl stores located in Estonia and Finland. Before the pandemic, Lidl even paid for shopping tours from St. Petersburg to Lappeenranta, provided that the tourist buys goods for a certain amount at a local store. Internet services for the delivery of goods from Lidl to Russia still exist.

As a rule, Lidl stores open in detached buildings with an area of ​​700-1000 m2 with parking. A special feature of the chain is its large share in the assortment of its own brands. The company often saves on shelves by displaying goods in boxes and other containers.

Now this format of trade is being developed by the Russian networks "Svetofor" and "Mayak", originally from Krasnoyarsk, showing impressive growth rates. In recent years, traditional retailers have also shown interest in discounters, launching the networks "Da" (owner - "O'Key"), 365 ("Lenta"), "Chizhik" (X5).

Many international grocery chains showed interest in the Russian market. Official offices of the world's largest retailer Walmart, the French giant Carrefour, operated in Russia. German Aldi registered its trademark here. But in the end, these companies did not open stores. At the same time, the French "Auchan" and the Finnish Prisma took root in Russia. The German chain Billa has been operating in Russia since 2004 (mainly in Moscow), but soon it will leave the country - all of its stores were bought by Lenta.

Experts' opinions on the prospects of Lidl entering the Russian market were divided. “We see a very high popularity of the discounter format,” says Ivan Fedyakov, CEO of INFOLine. ... But a discounter is not just a dirty store in an inconvenient place. It's still a store in which the share of its own brands can exceed 90% of the turnover. Our companies, with the exception of Lenta, have such an assortment of brands that to make a separate project, not yet. And Lidl has it. He can come here with his own set of brands and thus to some extent crush this market for himself, because they have just this competence more than enough"...

"The background that they have accumulated in Germany and other countries will not work at all in Russia," objected Andrei Karpov, president of the Russian Association of Retail Market Experts. they will not be supplied with goods at a lower price. Often for those who are used to being big, it can be quite difficult to suddenly find themselves in a situation of small petitioners. The simpler option is a situation where they can buy a player. Then they immediately get some kind of then the volume of stores, employees who have work experience in Russia, and it will be easier for them to enter. Are they ready for this?"

Typically, the registration of the Lidl trademark coincided with the purchase of Dixy by Magnit and Billa by Lenta.

“Somehow import companies don’t take root in our country,” says the co-owner of the “Real” chain Alexander Myshinsky. “Lidl, of course, is much stronger than those who were. They are very successful in entering new markets. Will they be allowed to bring their own brands here? And the second question, how competitive with the current euro rate will these brands be? In Russia, essential goods are quite cheap, much cheaper.

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